I've been investigating hardware cryptographic accelerators, and have come up against a dizzying array of possibilities. There are boards that range from $20 to $10,000 - and CPUs that have cryptographic accelerators builtin (several VIA chips on the one hand and the IBM zSystem on the other, for example). There are boards specialized for use in firewalls (like Checkpoint) and even full-blown servers designed for offloading cryptographic processing (like the SonicWall SSL R.
Then there are at least two different cryptographic APIs for Linux, the "standard" or "original" and the OpenBSD Cryptographic Framework (OCF).
None of this exactly answers my question - which is something like this: What is the best supported cryptographic accelerator (for disk or file encryption) supported by a standard Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS Server installation?
This means no patches and no backports.
To add even more complexity, this would be used to encrypt a MySQL database during use. Using MySQL cryptography has been discounted: as I understand it, it complicates the use of indexes and so forth.
Going with encrypting disks is possible, but it would be expensive as there are multiple disks combined in a RAID5 configuration for this purpose.
Can someone help straighten this mess out? I'd be forever grateful...