It rarely makes any good sense to set a server to a timezone other than GMT. GMT is the best practice for the following reasons:

  1. You don’t have to worry about daylight savings time changes.
  2. No chance of confusing timezones, either between applications, or administrators. It is more likely that someone will make a timezone mistake if you use them, and getting out of these situations can be difficult.
  3. Correlations of system logs from systems physically residing in different timezones is easier to do.
  4. Users of the system might be in different time zones, and the application should be able to handle that.

Some people won’t want to set servers to GMT because it is more comfortable to read logs in localtime. This is an OK option if you only have datacenters in one timezone, but the best practice would be GMT. Applications should be able to offset for any user, depending on their local time zone. And with the UNIX shell, you can always set the local variable “TZ” for any user or application that requires or desires a local setting.

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