The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems (IERS) recently announced that an extra second will transpire in standard civil time during the last minute of June 30, 2015. This extra second is called a leap second and would be displayed on a clock synchronized to standard civil time as 23:59:60 before the beginning of July 1, 2015. Because not all applications and systems are coded to handle this ":60" notation, Amazon Web Services will implement alternative solutions to avoid the ":60" leap second. This means that there will be a slight variation between AWS time and standard civil time for a brief period.

In general, AWS incorporation of this leap second will impact three different areas:

  • The AWS Management Console and backend systems
  • Amazon EC2 instances
  • Other AWS managed resources

If you run time-sensitive applications and need to know how AWS clocks will behave, review the AWS Official Blog entry Look Before You Leap – The Coming Leap Second and AWS.

Amazon CloudFront, Amazon CloudSearch, Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift, AWS CloudTrail, leap second, standard civil time

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