Attack hits Sun public grid service on day one

The first day that Sun Microsystems Inc. allowed users to buyaccess over the Internet to its long-delayed public utility grid, adenial of service attack forced the company to take down a servicehosted on the grid, the company said on Thursday.

To let users try out a service that relies on the grid, Sun offeredaccess for anyone to a text-to-speech application developed byCepstral LLC and hosted on the grid. But the service was hit by adenial of service attack.

In order to deal with the attack, Sun moved the translationservice so that it can only be accessed by users who are loggedonto the Sun Grid as a registered user, Sun said.

Sun initially expected to introduce public access to the grid lastyear but a series of delays pushed back the actual launch untilWednesday. Sun blamed a variety of factors for the many delays,including security concerns expressed recently by the U.S.Department of State.

The service launched this week allows anyone to order usage of thegrid over the Internet, paying via PayPal. Users pay US$1 per CPU(Central Processing Unit) per hour.

Sun has already been selling access to the grid to enterprises thatnegotiate contracts with Sun for the access. Sun announced thisweek several companies that are currently using the grid. CDO2 Ltd.uses the grid to allow customers to run complex financialsimulation spreadsheets, Sun said. Applied BioSystems uses the gridfor data research and is able to reduce the computing time frommonths to days for certain research, Applied BioSystems said. Sunalso said that it donated 100,000 CPU hours on the grid toPrinceton University as part of an education grant program.

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