DoS Attack Brings Down Sun Grid Demo

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-03-22 Print this article Print

A text-to-speech translation application that Sun offered on the public Internet to demonstrate the power of its Grid computing system was quickly brought down by a denial-of-service attack.

A text-to-speech translation application, one of the many services that uses Sun Microsystems Grid computing system, did not fare very well on its opening day, March 22, as it was hit by a denial-of-service network attack that forced the application off the public Internet. Since users of the Sun Grid have to go through a number of stages to be authorized before being registered, Sun decided to load that text-to-speech translation application outside the Grid portal, so that users would not need to register to use it. Click here to read about Suns first major Grid computing service deal.
Grid computing systems integrate the computing power of hundreds or even thousands of separate computers to handle jobs that require massive amounts of processing power, such as geologic oil exploration programs or weather forecasting applications.
Sun developed its own massive grid to offer as a utility computing service for anyone willing to pay for access to its computing power. The text-to-speech application is an effort by Sun to provide a public demonstration of the grids capabilities. "We were very aware that there could be malicious users out there who might want to try and bring down the Sun Grid if we allowed unauthorized users to access the application inside the Grid portal. As such, we decided to host it outside. The system defended itself against the DoS attack, but that inhibited usage of the application," Aisling MacRunnels, Suns senior director of utility computing, told eWEEK in an interview. Sun then brought the application up outside the Grid portal for a second time, but it was again brought down by a DoS attack. It then decided to move the application inside the Grid portal, where users will have to register with Sun, provide their names, home address, and set up a PayPal payment account or some other Sun-approved payment method. They also have to detail their intent for the Grid, she said. But the DoS attacks have not dampened Suns enthusiasm for the project, and the text-to-speech translation will be offered outside the portal for free trial and use again later this week, MacRunnels said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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