The enterprise DST checklist

Think you're ready for daylight-saving time? Read this first.

The new DST (daylight-saving time) is drawing near. Do you think you're ready? Run down this checklist to be sure.

1. Do a datacenter inventory. You need to know exactly which applications and systems you have running so that you can locate appropriate patches and fixes.

2. Find out what needs to be patched. That could take some time. Fortunately, many of the big-name vendors have prepared (even if you haven't). Below is a list of DST resource sites for various companies. Most, if not all, include lists of solutions that will be affected.

Apple

BlackBerry

Cisco

Dell

Hewlett-Packard

IBM

Microsoft

McAfee

Novell

Oracle

Palm

Red Hat

Sun

Symantec

Also be sure to update your JRE (Java Runtime Engine), as apps running on older versions of JRE may report incorrect times. Info is available here.

If one of your vendors isn't listed above, check out their Web site or call their help desk as soon as possible and ask about DST patches.

3. Devise a game plan. Mission-critical, time-sensitive applications should take priority, but also consider software -- such as firewalls -- that isn't time sensitive but that feeds time-sensitive information to other programs, such as security event management products.

4. Deploy patches or, where necessary, manual fixes. Use your centralized software management toolbox such as Microsoft Systems Management Server or Novell ZenWork Patch Management (if you have one). Otherwise, you'll have a lot of manual patching to do.

5. Test your patches and fixes. Be certain you come up with proper times and dates. You also have to check that your applications are interacting properly.

6. Make sure your partners and service providers are prepared. Just because you've done your due diligence and updated your systems doesn't mean one of your critical suppliers, for example, has.

7. Schedule IT personnel to come in on March 11. Try as you might to prepare, it's entirely possible something will slip through the cracks. Have IT staff on hand to check the status of systems, run tests, and fix problems.

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