Hardware/Software SSL/TLS Performance Testing

The AppScaler appliance with hardware ASIC SSL chip provides a 25x increase in SSL/TLS performance. And there is no performance overhead in CPU utilization, much more SSL connection per second and SSL throughput for both RSA and EC cryptos.

AppScaler supports Hardware SSL Acceleration cards from Marvell and Intel:

  • Intel Coleto SSL chip
  • Cavium Nitrox PX, Nitrox III and Nitrox V chip

Performance Comparison

SSL performance testing is complicated and, in this artical, we just compare the performance between pure software and hardware SSL acceleration card, the key performance metrics are:

  • CPU Usage
  • RSA Speed (2048bit)


The performance is conducted on AppScaler 2010, it has one Intel E3-1275 CPU(Quad-Core) and Cavium Nitrox CN1620-400-NHB4-4.0-G SSL card.

And we use the openssl built-in tool to do the performance testing:

  • openssl 1.0.2u
  • Software SSL: openssl speed rsa2048 -multi 8
  • Hardware SSL: openssl speed rsa2048 -engine cavium

Software SSL

openssl speed rsa2048 -multi 8

The CPU usage is 100%, mostly utilized by openssl

The RSA speed is 3,553.6 sign per second

Hardware SSL

openssl speed rsa2048 -engine cavium

The CPU usage is 2%, all the SSL operation offloaded to Cavium card, the Intel CPU is idle

The RSA speed is 91,275 sign per second

Testing Result