This was the question I was faced with last week. I was configuring a VPC image in Sydney, that I was later going to load on to a physical box in San Diego, then use it from anywhere in the world. So which time zone to use?
I decided upon UTC, and now, the more that I think about it, I don’t know why all servers aren’t configured that way.
Advantages to using UTC:
- No weird shifts/jumps around daylight savings
- Accidental usage of DateTime.Now in server-side code returns that same value as DateTime.UtcNow anyway
- Migrating applications and their data, or entire VMs across physical locations becomes easy
Disadvantages to using UTC:
- Everything is stored in UTC, and thus hard for most humans to deal with mentally. The solution: tools like the Windows Event Viewer and SQL Management Studio should allow you to apply a time zone offset to visible results.
My recommendation: Run all your servers in UTC (that’s “GMT – Greenwich Mean Time” with “Automatically adjust clock for DST” turned OFF).
Maybe Adam can add this to his standards? 😉
2 thoughts on “Which time zone should I set for my server?”
The other advantage I feel is, in the UI we can show UTC Date/Time recorded on the server in the user’s regional time zone
format in a manner that it actually relates to him. I have also put up a code sample on this here – http://mvark.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-to-show-utc-datetime-recorded-on.html
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