RealTime IT News

Sun's Grid DDOS-Attacked

Sun's first day on the public grid ended up being a less-than-stellar one.

The systems vendor said a denial-of-service attack knocked down a pilot version of its Grid Compute Utility while running a text-to-speech application from a company called Cepstral that was hosted on the grid.

The DDOS attack on Sun's grid was executed by several computers connecting to the service.

Aisling MacRunnels, senior director of utility computing at Sun, said the problem was resolved after Sun moved the service so that it can now only be accessed by users who are logged onto the grid as a registered user.

MacRunnels said the attack did not degrade performance for users connecting to the paid-for part of the grid that requires registration.

Sun spokesman Brett Smith noted that attacks on public Web sites, which is what the pilot version was located on, are common.

Sun's public Grid Compute Utility allows customers to tap into computing power for $1 per hour per CPU. Customers pay through the PayPal billing fulfillment service and procure processing power with a click-through license.

Though the public grid has only been online for one day, Smith said Sun is "very pleased" with the results of the grid thus far.

"I can't tell you the number of hits we've had to the grid, but it's definitely exceeded our expectations," Smith said.

While IBM and HP also offer grid computing, Sun is the first to the table with a grid utility of this kind.

Sun's first instantiation of the grid garnered success last year, as the company landed contracts from Applied BioSystems, Princeton University and CDO2.

These contracts allowed companies in financial services, oil and gas and biological sciences to let their customers dial up or dial down the computing power they required as a utility according to their company needs.

Customers were not billed if they were not using the computing power.