GoDaddy says its Servers are Ready for Time Switch

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A GoDaddy.com Inc. customer is seriously concerned that this domain registrar and hosting company may not be ready for the switch to Daylight Saving Time (DST) on Sunday.

In a series of e-mail exchanges and phone calls, George Baltzell was told by GoDaddy.com's tech support team that the company is exempt from patching its servers because it is based in Arizona, which doesn't observe DST. "That's a silly response," Baltzell said.

Baltzell, who lives in St. Louis, contacted GoDaddy.com's tech support after he crafted a short script using the PHP language to verify that the company's servers had been tuned for the DST switch, which comes earlier this year. His test showed that the GoDaddy.com servers are still acting according to the old DST rules, he said.

"Thank you for contacting Online Support. As Daylight Savings [sic] does not apply to our servers, since we are on Arizona Time and our time zone does not change, our servers wouldn't update," reads one of the replies he received, and which he provided to IDG News Service.

He wrote back to GoDaddy, saying that despite being in Arizona, their servers needed to be patched, otherwise timestamps would be wrong when communicating with computers in other areas. He even provided them with the code he used for his test, but didn't hear back.

When informed of this situation by IDG News Service, GoDaddy sent via e-mail a statement from Chief Information Security Officer Neil Warner. It said GoDaddy has conducted risk analysis on all its systems in preparation for the DST switch, as well as contacted its vendors and received recommended patches.

"Further, over the weekend, Go Daddy developers and quality assurance teams will be monitoring the transition process closely. As for our corporate headquarters being located in Scottsdale, Arizona, while the fact that we do not participate in DST minimizes potential impact, we are taking all precautionary steps to ensure our customers, located all over the world, are not impacted," the statement read.

Told of GoDaddy's response, Baltzell was puzzled about the different message he got from the technical support team. On Friday, his test continued to indicate the GoDaddy.com servers haven't been patched, he said.

The main site he hosts with GoDaddy.com is St. Louis Places to See. He is particularly concerned for a page in which he tracks power outages in the St. Louis metro area, because timestamps are an important part of it.

Whatever ends up happening, Baltzell's opinion of GoDaddy.com has been soured by the experience. "Their tech support response is such a non sequitur, it has me wondering whether I should switch to another company," he said.

In 2005, President Bush signed into law the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Among other things, it orders that, beginning in 2007, the start of DST be moved from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March. It also shifts the return of standard time from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November.

On Sunday, people in zones impacted by DST must advance their clocks one hour. They must set clocks back one hour when DST ends this year on Nov. 4.

The new DST dates have had a significant impact on the IT industry, as vendors have had to issue patches for their systems and users, both consumers and enterprise IT professionals, have had to adjust their computers.

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