Leap Second-Are You Ready For It?

The next Leap(26th leap) Second will be on 30 June,2015. The last one was on 30 June,2012.

What Is It?

Earth's rotation is slowing down around it's own axis, so we need to Leap a few seconds to catch up. Occasionally seconds are added to UTC to compensate for its drift from the Solar Mean Time or UT1. UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) is followed universally which approximates to UT1.

Who Will Be Impacted?

Anyone who relies on modern computing devices for their services and have strict time dependencies on it may be affected.

How Will You Be Impacted?

The 25th Leap reported plenty technology failures where the leap was not smooth. To avoid this, proper planning is required. Exact time for Leap is at GMT 23:59:59 on 30th June,2015.

The adding of a second to the Computer Systems gets complex. In systems, it may happen to report the earlier second '60' or may double show earlier second '59', this can create chaos and overprocessing CPUs.

Some Impact In 2012:

  • Delayed flights, manual check-in had to be conducted
  • System crashes were reported even by Reddit, LinkedIn etc. last year.

How To Deal?

  • Leap Smear-  It adds fractions of seconds from time to time during the preceding year instead of a single leap. Google takes this approach.
  • Check for instruction on your software partner websites and create a checklist of action items for smooth transition
  • If you of devices using PTP (Precision Time Protocol), there could be time manipulation,check with the providers
  • It is noted UNIX Systems are highly susceptible, check for fixes
  • Let your clocks go Out-Of-Sync. It's a serious option, US takes it. This can have a huge impact if it were to follow thereon as we might never have clocks in sync again.

Some Sites Guiding Fixes:

Cisco Products-

http://www.cisco.com/web/about/doing_business/leap-second.html#~Pro...

Linux Platforms -

https://access.redhat.com/articles/15145

Windows Platform-

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/909614

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773013

Apple Platform-

https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/System/Concep...

Next Steps-The International Telecommunications Union will vote in November for abandoning the Leap Second. What are you views on this?

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