VARs Report Few Problems Following Daylight-Savings SwitchBy Jessica Davis | Print
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A week of long hours paid off for VARs, who reported few problems the Monday after daylight-saving time.
After several days of all-nighters, VARs and IT shops seemed to be breathing a collective sigh of relief on Monday, the first business day after the big daylight-saving time change.
For the most part, VARs, MSPs, customers and vendors emerged unscathed from the event, but warned that it would take a few days for the dust to settle and the true impact of the event to be measured.
"As the week rolls on we will have a better picture of whether it was a big deal or not," said Swapnil Shah, founder and chief strategy officer of mValent in Burlington, Mass., a configuration and change management provider.
Shah was set to meet with several IT shops in New York this week, but two or three had already canceled their Monday meetings because they'd worked nonstop over the weekend to fix the daylight-saving problem. Those meetings have been rescheduled for later this week.
Often compared with the Y2K crisis, the daylight-saving time problem received less advance attention. It received little attention until six weeks ago.
The U.S. Congress decision to change the dates passed just last year. That shortened the planning horizon for dealing with the daylight-saving time change, leaving VARs with less time to do the necessary patches.
Jeff Marshall, a lead technical consultant with Dimension Data, a $3.1 billion system integrator, and the rest of his team worked straight through from Thursday until the wee hours of the morning on Sunday patching Cisco software for call center customers. As of Monday morning all but one was functioning well, he said. The customer that continued to suffer a problem was only seeing log files off an hour.
"We ran into a challenging time for the final 24 hours, with new information coming in as we were working through patches," Marshall said. "An anomaly would come up, and we'd distribute the new patch to the team."
For one Dimension Data customer, the required patch did not function on their enterprise at all.
In terms of the Cisco call center software, Marshall said his team will have to go back in three weekswhen the daylight-saving time change historically has occurredand remove the patches that his team applied over this last week.
Call centers were one of the areas that faced significant potential problems, but for the most part emerged unscathed as of Monday.
M.J. Shoer, president of Jenaly Technology Group, a Portsmouth, N.H., MSP, said his company's Monday morning problems came primarily from users who did not heed messages about implementing patches.
Of all his company's clients, only one experienced "a goofy thing where the machine reports as fully patched but is still reporting the wrong time."
Various users across a range of companies reported issues with Microsoft Outlook calendar and meetings being bumped back by an hour. Internally at Dimension Data, Marshall reported that several meeting updates have been issued to fix problems with Outlook scheduling.