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SSLShader: Cheap SSL Acceleration with Commodity Processors

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Secure end-to-end communication is becoming increasingly important as more private and sensitive data is transferred on the Internet. Unfortunately, today’s SSL deployment is largely limited to security or privacycritical domains. The low adoption rate is mainly attributed to the heavy cryptographic computation overhead on the server side, and the cost of good privacy on the Internet is tightly bound to expensive hardware SSL accelerators in practice. In this talk, we present high-performance SSL acceleration using commodity processors. First, we show that modern graphics processing units (GPUs) can be easily converted to general-purpose SSL accelerators. By exploiting the massive computing parallelism of GPUs, we accelerate SSL cryptographic operations beyond what state-of-the-art CPUs provide. Second, we build a transparent SSL proxy, SSL Shader, that carefully leverages the trade-offs of recent hardware features such as AES -NI and NUMA and achieves both high throughput and low latency. In our evaluation, the GPU implementation of RSA shows a factor of 22.6 to 31.7 improvement over the fastest CPU implementation. SSL Shader achieves 29K transactions per second for small files while it transfers large files at 13 Gbps on a commodity server machine. These numbers are comparable to high-end commercial SSL appliances at a fraction of their price.

This talk is part of the Microsoft Research Cambridge, public talks series.

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