The Channel logo


By | Kelly Fiveash 7th January 2009 13:15

Oracle tripped up by 'leap second'

Save the Clock Tower

Database giant Oracle has issued fixes after its Cluster Ready Services (CRS) software failed to cope with the so-called “leap second” added by scientists at the end of 2008.

The Earth Orientation Centre is responsible for calculating when a leap second should be added or subtracted because the Earth doesn’t always orbit perfectly.

Scientists added a second on 31 December 2008, meaning the final countdown required 11 rather than 10 seconds to bring us into the New Year to allow for the time to hit 23:59:60.

But Oracle’s CRS couldn’t cope with the added Marty McFly-style second, which meant that many of its servers rebooted on their own just after midnight on New Year’s Day.

The firm issued a fix for the embarrassing glitch on Monday after many sys admins grumbled that their CRS nodes were rebooting.

Oracle said versions to of the Oracle Server Enterprise Edition, running on 64-bit Sun Solaris servers with CRS and Oracle patch sets to were affected by the cockup.

At the start of 2009 Microsoft suffered a similar Fail with its 2006 30GB Zune model because the internal clock driver couldn’t handle leap years, causing the iPod imitators to have a lie down when the clock struck midnight. ®

comment icon Read 26 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe