This article discusses the impact of the leap second on June 30, 2015 on Fox Technologies products.

 

Firstly it should be noted that in the last 10 years, there have been 3 leap seconds added (2005, 2008, and 2012) without any reported issues with any Fox Technologies products.

 

Setting aside reported problems involving hardware and software in astronomy applications and real-time systems, potential problems have been reported for some Java programs. Fox Technologies' analysis of these potential problems is as follows:

  • There is some evidence of a possible internal spin-lock problem in some Linux kernels which is triggered by ntpd when the leap second is approaching. While the specifics of which versions are affected are unclear, indications are that Red Hat is among the affected Operating Systems. Fox Technologies recommends checking with OS vendors as to whether a specific version is affected, and whether it has been fixed in updates since 2012.
  • Reported potential problems in Java appear to be a side-effect of the above problem; For some reason, heavily loaded Java processes become trapped in a spin-lock because of this. Some claim that this can happen in other language platforms as well; The trigger seems to be heavily loaded threaded programs, which explains why extremely large sites like Reddit and Amazon Cloud have been impacted. Added to this, Java is of course the most common platform. For this reason, there's no fix in Java for this issue, as it is not really a Java bug.
  • The only Fox Technologies products that might be impacted by this are the products running in Java: Web Services Interface, FoxT Control Center, and BoKS Reporting Manager. However Fox Technologies' analysis shows it to be unlikely that any of these products would trigger the problem. Further analysis shows that none of Fox Technologies' other products are affected, as they are not written in Java, and are in most cases not even threaded.
  • If a Java process starts spinning, the work-around is to simply turn ntpd off and set the time manually. The following link is to one of many pages suggesting this work-around: http://blog.wpkg.org/2012/07/01/java-leap-second-bug-30-june-1-july-2012-fix/

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Last Modified On: April 16, 2019