Originally posted at Four Nines (http://fournines.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/speed-up-web-applications-with-ssl-offloading/)
Web sites and web applications are increasingly using secure connections (HTTPS) for all traffic not just obviously sensitive data, as a way to guard against security threats. However, HTTPS requires encryption/decryption of data, which is computationally intensive. Web applications can therefore benefit from “offloading” the encryption/decryption processing required for HTTPS to specialised hardware devices.
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