So the setup for our website is 4 nodes running rails 3 and nginx 1 that all use the same GoDaddy certificate. Because we are a paid site, we have to maintain PCI-DSS compliance and thus have to use the more expensive SSL ciphers -- also we force SSL using Rack. I've recently switched over to Linode's NodeBalancer (which I've read is an HACluster), and we're not getting the performance we'd ideally like.
From what I've read, it looks like terminating the SSL on the nodes using the high cipher is what is causing the poor performance, but I'd like to be thorough. Is there anything I can do? I've read about other ways to terminate the SSL before the NodeBalancer (like using stud), but I don't know enough about these solutions. We certainly don't want to do anything experimental or anything that has a single point of failure.
If there really isn't anything I can do to speed up the SSL handshake, my alternative would be to support certain pages on Rails using a secure and insecure subdomain. I've found a few guides that walk through that, but my resulting question is in this situation, would it be better to have nginx handle forcing ssl on the secure subdomain instead of rails?