Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and the successor, Transport Layer Security (TLS)
are cryptographic protocols that are used with trusted certificates to ensure that communication on networks is secure, and that services are what they claim to be. As such SSL, and TLS, are a vital component of a secure network stack. However the process of securing and checking network communications with these protocols is very resource intensive. An SSL Accelerator
is designed to offload this resource intensive task from application and content servers. This allows network load to be distributed and provides a better service to consumers of network applications and content. SSL Acceleration is often a part of an Application Acceleration suite of tools.