DoS? C'mon Sun, who are ya kiddin'?

What's the betting that the real reason Sun withdrew its Grid demo app on Wednesday was a failure to anticipate demand?
Written by Phil Wainewright, Contributor

Are we honestly supposed to believe it was a co-ordinated denial-of-service attack that brought down a demonstration application on Sun's much-touted pay-as-you-go Grid service on the day of its launch this week?

Welcome to Sun Grid splash image
It's very convenient to blame malicious hackers for the unavailability of the free text-to-speech translation service that Sun offered when it brought the Grid live on Wednesday. But what's the betting that the real reason was a failure to anticipate demand for the demonstration service? With just 5,000 sockets available on the grid at any one time, it wouldn't take much in the way of sloppy configuration to bring it down once users started logging on.

Just for fun, let's rewrite part of Wednesday's news story and see if it stacks up:

In denial-of-service attacks unforeseen surges of demand, numerous computers -- often groups of compromised PCs called botnets bored geeks in search of something new -- simultaneously attack a target log on to use a service on the network ... "We had to defend against a bunch. There were too many coming against us, so we moved it inside," [Sun's senior director of utility computing Aisling] MacRunnels said.

After years of having no one show any interest whatsoever in previous trials of the Grid, it should come as no surprise that Sun wasn't ready for a sudden surge in demand. True DoS attacks are a serious matter, of course. But this wouldn't be the first time that hackers have been conveniently blamed for a service provider's failure to anticipate perfectly legitimate demand.

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