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January 2003

The declining need of accelerator cards

Accounting heavyweight KPMG's current Web infrastructure can support roughly 60 connections per second, which is pretty good for an enterprise that doesn't handle a lot of e-commerce traffic. When the firm decided to open its digital doors to thousands of clients, offering online services and Web-based access to accounting and auditing records, it faced the prospect that its site could quickly be overwhelmed. Hundreds of SSL-secured connections could quickly chew up its capacity, leaving paying customers waiting an intolerable five to 10 seconds for their turn. KPMG turned to nCipher to solve its availability and crypto-processing problem. By installing nCipher's nFast accelerator cards on six of its Web servers, the firm increased its secured-connection capacity by 80 percent. "What we've found in our benchmarking is the amount of throughput we gained made it reasonable enough to do this," says Ken Shea, KPMG's director of architecture technology. "If we didn't use the accelerator cards, we would be installing many more boxes."...

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