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I operate almost entirely in one time zone. Supposing a Data Center in another time zone, it would make sense to configure the machines in that data center to use my time zone, and not local.

Are there any drawbacks to this approach?

EDIT: My assumption is that all the devices use UTC and then the time zone configuration comes into play at some points when applications are presenting time information to humans, i.e. logging.

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marked as duplicate by TheCleaner, MadHatter, mfinni, voretaq7 Nov 13 '13 at 17:17

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Depends on your application, no? –  ewwhite Nov 13 '13 at 16:07
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My assumption is that all the devices use UTC and then the time zone configuration comes into play at some points when applications are presenting time information to humans <-- Nice assumption - I wish it were true more often. (For example, syslog records timestamps in the system's time zone. If that's UTC you'll have to read UTC values in your logs. If it's US/Eastern you'll repeat the same hour every fall when DST ends and the clocks move back. "Pick your poison") - Log viewers like splunk can handle the display end of things for you & sort out time zones though. –  voretaq7 Nov 13 '13 at 17:23

2 Answers 2

Ideally, all of your gear (servers, networking, etc.) should use UTC time. This does away with any possible ambiguity due to time zones, daylight saving time, etc.

If that's not possible, then the next best option is to have everything on the same time zone, as you've proposed. There is nothing "wrong" with this per se, as long as each system is well-behaved with regards to the spring/fall time changes.

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Yes, plenty of drawbacks, because it's wrong.

  • imagine if this server depended on having accurate timestamps, particularly if communicating with client systems a la Kerberos.

You should be setting servers to use UTC and also telling them what time zone they're in. OS dependent, of course.

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