I'm evaluating content delivery / load balancing vendors and many measure their appliance's ability to perform by SSL Transactions Per Second or SSL TPS. TPS is higher when there is dedicated hardware to process SSL connections rather than just software (obviously). SSL certificates are installed or terminated on the device, the device negotiates with the client browser and typically the connection from the load balancer to the server is not encrypted.
I'm trying to determine our TPS needs based on our traffic and I don't have a clear way to translate, say requests/sec into SSL TPS. There doesn't seem to be a direct correlation.
Does TPS refer to ONLY the handshake? What happens if someone requests a secure web page with 50 references to images over HTTPS? Is that 1 plus 50 = 51 TPS?