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In past years in the U.S., preparing for Daylight Saving Time (DST) meant a quick stroll through your house, rolling clocks forward an hour and changing the batteries in your smoke detectors. That all changes on March 11, 2007.

That's right, DST is March 11th this year in the United States, not the traditional second Sunday in April. And while in past years you were likely to be concerned about your VCR and microwave clocks, this year you should bump every system and device on your network to the top of your time-change list.

Thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, beginning in 2007 DST will start on the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November. This not only shifts DST start and end dates, but also extends DST four additional weeks. (See Table 1.) So you'll be patching and adjusting just about all of your IT systems.

Since the adoption of the Uniform Time Act of 1966, DST has adhered to the consistent formula for starting the first Sunday in April and reverting on the last Sunday in October. Springing ahead and falling backward caused little disruption to IT systems. In the past, operating systems would accommodate the time shift automatically based on the local time settings. Not so this year, unless you update, patch or manually adjust the device.

Table 1

United States Daylight Saving Time

Year

Begins at 2am

Ends at 2am

2005

April 3

October 30

2006

April 2

October 29

2007

March 11

November 4

2008

March 9

November 2

2009

March 8

November 1

2010

March 14

November 7



DST is observed in the U.S. and its territories, with the exception of most of Arizona, American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. While the devices in these areas won't require a time zone setting change on March 11, each system does rely on internal time zone calculations to interoperate with devices and systems in other geographies. As a result, software vendors strongly suggest that every system on the network be evaluated and prepared for the DST change, regardless of its geographic location. Most often that means applying a patch to the operating system, an application or software component—or some combination of the three.

Most software vendors have already issued DST-focused patches or procedures for dealing with the change. Now it's up to you to process the onslaught of information and patches to prepare your networks for March 11, 2007.

See Daylight
Like any new regulation, event, date or even catastrophe that requires you to uniformly evaluate your networks, it all starts with a plan. Organizations with established processes, such as those outlined in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), will be better positioned to assess, rectify and audit DST 2007 preparations.

Likewise, organizations with systems in place to quickly effect change and configuration management routines will spend less time and effort dealing with DST. Novell offers both products to help automate systems management, as well as a wealth of information to help IT managers prepare and deal with the 2007 time-change issues.

First Seek to Understand
The basis for any course of action required by DST 2007 is an accurate understanding of what devices and systems you need to address. The Novell ZENworks Desktop Management, ZENworks Server Management and ZENworks Handheld Management products include accurate discovery and inventory capabilities to give you a comprehensive list of devices you need to manage. Knowing what you have and where it is located is critical for both planning and management.

ZENworks Asset Management also provides critical information in the planning process by providing an accurate view of software asset usage, license management and contract management. Having this clear view helps you prioritize your focus as well as discover over and under licensing issues.

Most software vendors have already issued patches or documented procedures for dealing with the DST change. Novell's DST preparation Web site is a good place to start. The page provides links to product information as well as other vendor and generally helpful information as you prepare to address DST 2007.

Novell support document #3094409 provides an overview of Novell product patches and requirements for DST 2007 readiness. The most common preparation needed is simply applying a product's latest available patches. In many cases, only the product's Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE or JVM) needs an update, and not the product code itself.

The wild card in DST 2007 could be the hundreds of in-house developed applications and systems, which organizations struggle to manage and maintain. Again, here is where ZENworks Asset Management, a complete asset management solution, provides a clear picture of software on the network. By classifying and filtering software asset information in ZENworks Asset Management, you can quickly identify your solutions from the thousands of files and executables on your network. That way, you can uniformly track and manage in-house software, just like commercial software.

The enormous quantity of Microsoft Windows desktops and servers on networks, translates into one of the largest concerns systems administrators worry about when it comes to DST 2007. Microsoft outlines DST support and fixes on it's Web site for Microsoft products in the "Mainstream" phase of their support life cycle.

On the Clock with ZENworks Patch Management
While manually updating all devices for DST 2007 may be possible if your IT labor budget is large enough, it is still a one-off, and you'll have to go through the same fire drill the next time a patch is issued.

The benefit of the ZENworks unified patch management solution is that it gives you an up-to-date picture of your patch readiness. ZENworks Patch Management provides reporting and remediation to insure patches are delivered and that user tampering at the local device does not remove the patch or circumvent the patching processes.

Novell ZENworks Patch Management provides an automated solution that helps you quickly address DST 2007 for many operating systems, including Microsoft operating systems that have moved out of the mainstream support phase. The product provides patch assessment, distribution and enforcement, and auditing of complete patch life cycle management.

As a result, if you use ZENworks Patch Management to manage the flood of Microsoft and other vendor's patches, you already have DST patches at your finger tips. To help you with older Microsoft operating systems, ZENworks Patch Management packages the suggested Microsoft workaround and delivers it as a custom patch. (See Table 2.) This eliminates manual administrator effort and automates the DST readiness process for older Windows systems on the network.

ZENworks Patch Management takes a cross-platform approach to the DST issue and patch management in general. Novell patch experts work with many operating system and application vendors before a patch is released to the public. As a result, Novell patch analysts test each patch rigorously before it is sent to the ZENworks Patch Management server for distribution.

When the patch is released to the public, it is delivered to your ZENworks Patch Management servers across the world along with any guidelines developed in testing. This gives you both an additional level of confidence as well as information on which you can build your own test and roll-out plans. The ZENworks-provided patch and information is a critical time saver if you're a busy administrator, and helps you quickly understand how a patch can affect or interact with other software on your network.

And Once More Around
While we're not hearing Y2K-like doomsday predictions about Daylight Saving Time 2007, the new date change could cause system glitches unless you're prepared. Many organizations are now testing and putting solutions in place to ensure their systems are ready to deal with the early time change. The key is understanding what you have, how it will be affected, what options are available and then using unified systems management to get your network ready.

Remember, if you work in the U.S., Daylight Saving Time starts 21 days earlier this year. If you forget, you'll only be an hour late for work. If your IT systems forget, well, who knows what will happen to you. red N



Table 2: ZENworks Patch Management

Daylight Saving Time Patches as of 02/16/2007*

Operating System / Application

Version

Patch Name

Release Date

Apple Mac OS X

10.4

2006-04-03 10.4.8 Update

10/4/2006

HP HP-UX

11.00

PHCO_34673

4/6/2006

HP HP-UX

11.11

PHCO_34668

4/4/2006

HP HP-UX

11.23

PHCO_34669

4/6/2006

IBM AIX

5.1

IY75214

12/7/2006

IBM AIX

5.2

IY75213

12/7/2006

IBM AIX

5.3

IY75211

12/7/2006

Microsoft Windows

98

914387

1/30/2007

Microsoft Windows

NT4

914387

1/30/2007

Microsoft Windows

2000

914387

1/30/2007

Microsoft Windows

XP

928388

12/16/2006

Microsoft Windows

2003

928388

12/16/2006

Sun Solaris

8

109809-05

1/30/2007

Sun Solaris

8

108993-52

2/23/2006

Sun Solaris

9

113225-07

1/17/2007

Sun Solaris

9

112874-33

3/16/2006

Sun Solaris

10

122032-03

1/16/2007

Sun Solaris

10

119689-07

3/15/2006

SUSE Linux Enterprise

9 x86

2005-12-05 glibc

1/30/2007

SUSE Linux Enterprise

9 x86_64

2005-12-05 glibc

12/27/2006

Sun Java JRE

1.4.2_12

JRE 1.4.2_12

5/9/2006

Sun Java JRE

1.5.0_06

JRE 1.5.0_06

11/10/2005

Sun Java JRE

1.5.0_07

JRE 1.5.0_07

5/3/2006

Sun Java JRE

1.5.0_08

JRE 1.5.0_08

7/26/2006

Sun Java JRE

1.5.0_10

JRE 1.5.0_10

07/26/06

*Provided patches as of February 16, 2007. Refer to Novell support document #3642878 for the most up-to-date information on ZENworks Patch Management DST patches as well as DST information for all ZENworks products.



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