When the appliance at one end of a connection detects that the other appliance has secure peering enabled, it attempts to open an SSL signaling tunnel. If the two appliances successfully authenticate each other over this tunnel, they have a secure peering relationship. All accelerated connections between the two appliances are encrypted, and compression is enabled.
When an appliance has secure peering enabled, connections with a partner for which it does not have a secure peer relationship are not encrypted or compressed, though TCP flow-control acceleration is still available. Compression is disabled to ensure that data stored in compression history from secured partners cannot be shared with unsecured partners.
A keystore password is required to access the security parameters. This keystore password is different from the administrator's password, to allow security administration to be separated from other tasks. If the keystore password is reset, all existing encrypted data and private keys are lost.
To protect data even if the appliance is stolen, the keystore password must be reentered every time the appliance is restarted. Until this is done, secure peering and compression are disabled.