The SSL protocol is customarily "tunneled" over an IP-based protocol. "Tunneling" means simply that each SSL record is encapsulated and packaged up with the proper headers to send over another protocol. SSL communications between a web or application server and its clients are encapsulated in HTTP packets for transport.
You can also tunnel SSL over WebLogic's fast, multiplexed IP-based protocol, T3. The use of SSL is signified in the protocol scheme of the URL, for example:
Tunneling adds overhead to any sort of communications. Using a communication protocol that must be unencrypted or authenticated will add noticeably to a client's perceived wait time