An Hour in Time

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Back to the FutureDaylight Savings time switches a little later this year. In fact it's November 4th this year, after having been in October for all of my life. In case you don't remember which way we move the clocks, here's a saying:

Spring forward, fall back.

So our clocks will move backwards automatically from 2:00am to 1:00am on November 4th. Hopefully you've patched all your systems to do this automatically, otherwise they'll be moving next weekend and you'll have to change them forward again and then back again the following week.

Since this is a database/SQL Server editorial (mostly), I thought that I should bring to light the effect on SQL Server. Actually, I'll leave that to someone that's way more knowledgeable on SQL Server than I.

We're planning on featuring a few new blog entries and articles from Paul Randal of SQLskills here over the next few months. For those of you that aren't familiar with Paul, he used to head the storage engine team for SQL Server at Microsoft before leaving earlier this year.

Also let me publicly wish Paul congratulations on his marriage to Kimberly Tripp, the founder of SQLskills and one of the best speakers and trainers I've seen on SQL Server. There are a few others I recommend, but Kim is definitely near the top. Of course, now Paul's with SQL Skills, so we might see a Battle of the SQL Server DBAs...

Most of us don't care that much about how daylight savings time affects our applications. We close shop on Friday or Saturday, wake up Sunday, check the server, it's at the right time, and we're done. After all, how many transactions occur between 2:00am and 1:00am and then 2:00am? For most of us it doesn't matter. SQL Server picks up the time from the operating system and does so within a minute. You can check this by changing the time on your host and then checking GETDATE() within SQL Server. If you don't have SSMS already open, you'll never get a query submitted before the server picks up the time change.

However DST does result in some interesting behaviors. You could potentially have an order placed for an item after it's queued to ship. Or you could get an alert fired for an event that will happen in an hour. Imagine a restart of SQL Agent at 1:59am. By the time it gets restarted, you could have some notification go out at 1:01am that tells you SQL Agent was reachable at 1:59! Way too Back to the Future for me.

When I tended bar, we kind of looked forward to the time change back. An extra hour of serving drinks, and more importantly, tips. If you're out that night, it's an extra hour of time to enjoy the night.

Just be sure to pay the baby sitter for the extra hour!

Steve Jones


Podcast Notes:

Dirty WingsToday's podcast features music by Josh Woodward, www.joshwoodward.com. He's touring in Ohio right now, so if you're in the area, check him out. He's got a few albums out with some great, upbeat music.

I've moved the podcast feeds to sqlservercentral.podshow.com to get better bandwidth and maybe a little more exposure :). Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted. You can get feeds from there.

Someone called me the "Voice of the DBA" awhile back and I liked it. I'm looking to rename the show to that unless there are complaints, criticisms, or a large general outcry.

I've done video the last few days, but it's a big time consuming process and it's gotten me a bit behind on other things. I will probably drop to three times a week unless there's a lot of interest to keep going everyday. If you like it, tell the boss!

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