When the big clocks on the Internet are changed, things can, and did, go very wrong indeed.
It was just another Saturday night on the Internet. But, then in order to keep the Web’s atomic clocks in sycn with the Earth’s rotation, the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) declared that an extra second should be added to the clock at the stroke of midnight. The extra second went out to the world over the Network Time Protocol (NTP) form the master clocks and…. whoops! One site after another went down.
There’s no master list of what sites went down. And, we may never know about some of them if their system administrators kept quiet about it and their sites were otherwise idle. We do know, however, that Reddit, the popular social bookmarking site, went down with a thump. The Reddit team reported 41-minutes after the site fell down that, “We are having some Java/Cassandra issues related to the leap second at 5pm PST. We’re working as quickly as we can to restore service.”