Difference Between Cisco VRRP AND HSRP

Redundancy protocols are necessary for a technical environment operating on a computer network.

It helps identify how the routers are connecting to transfer or distribute the information between the various nodes of the network.

Cisco VRRP and HSRP are two such redundancy protocols that are almost similarly capable but are distinguished by a few deciding factors.

Cisco VRRP vs HSRP

The main difference between Cisco VRRP and HSRP is that Cisco VRRP is an open standard protocol whereas HSRP is only proprietary to Cisco, which means that it can only be used on Cisco-based devices.

On the other hand, Cisco VRRP has a much broader reach of devices

Cisco VRRP vs HSRP

Cisco VRRP stands for Cisco Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol. Cisco VRRP is a software-designed networking protocol that is used to eliminate or minimize the risk of any point of failure inherent in the static default routed environment.

It increases the availability, consistency, and reliability of routing paths.

HSRP stands for Hot Standby Routing Protocol. HSRP is a software-designed networking protocol that is proprietary to Cisco, which means that it is only compatible with Cisco devices.

However, its core purpose is similar to that of Cisco VRRP. The first version of HSRP was introduced in 1998.

Comparison Table Between Cisco VRRP and HSRP

Parameters of ComparisonCisco VRRPHSRP
Stands forVirtual Router Redundancy Protocol.Hot Standby Routing Protocol.
ProtocolIt is an open standard.It is Cisco Proprietary.
GroupsAllows a maximum of 255 groups.Allows a maximum of 16 groups.
RouterOne master router only.One master and one standby router.
FamiliarityIt is less familiar to technical people.It is more familiar to technical people.

What is Cisco VRRP?

Cisco VRRP stands for Cisco Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol. Cisco VRRP is a software-designed networking protocol that is used to eliminate or minimize the risk of any point of failure inherent in the static default routed environment.

It increases the availability, consistency, and reliability of routing paths.

As the name suggests, it achieves everything by creating virtual multiple routers including active and standby routers. It depends on only the master router and does not physically use any other router.

Cisco VRRP is a network layer protocol that allows a very high configurable group range of 255. This is a major advantage that Cisco VRRP has over other redundancy protocols.

Furthermore, Cisco VRRP is an open standard protocol, which means that it is not only specific to Cisco but is compatible with other devices as well.

Nevertheless, even the technical people are not as familiar with Cisco VRRP when compared to HSRP.

Cisco VRRP is a more modern and newer protocol because of which it is not as optimized and stable. There is a big room for improvement.

With better on-paper specifications and capabilities, Cisco VRRP aims at obtaining much higher standards in the near future.

What is HSRP?

HSRP stands for Hot Standby Routing Protocol. HSRP is a software-designed networking protocol that is proprietary to Cisco, which means that it is only compatible with Cisco devices.

However, its core purpose is similar to that of Cisco VRRP. The first version of HSRP was introduced in 1998.

HSRP works on multiple routers including one master router and one standby router.

The router with the highest configured priority acts as a virtual router and communicates with other nodes on the network.

If under any circumstances the primary router fails, the standby router with the next configured priority takes over and communicates on the network.

HSRP is an application layer protocol that allows a configurable group range of 16. This is a drawback when compared to Cisco VRRP.

Furthermore, HSRP is not an open standard protocol due to which, it is only compatible with Cisco devices, making it Cisco proprietary.

However, most technical people including engineers and IT experts are familiar with HSRP. HSRP was introduced in 1998, which means it is an older protocol.

As a result, it is now more stable and optimized with improvements over the years. Even though It is highly reliable, it is not future-proof.

Main Differences Between Cisco VRRP and HSRP

  1. Cisco VRRP is a network layer protocol whereas HSRP is an application layer protocol.
  2. Cisco VRRP is open standard whereas HSRP is proprietary to Cisco, which means it is only compatible with Cisco devices.
  3. Cisco VRRP has a much higher group range than HSRP.
  4. Technical people including professionals such as engineers, technicians, etc., are less familiar with Cisco VRRP. On the other hand, they are more familiar with HSRP.
  5. Cisco VRRP is a modern but still improving protocol whereas HSRP is an older yet more stable protocol.

Conclusion

Currently, Cisco VRRP and HSRP are not too different while looking at things with only practicality. When comparing their capabilities and specifications, Cisco VRRP takes a lead.

However, it is not a protocol that people are familiar with till now. It is a newer approach and hence needs to settle with time for people to get used to working in a different environment.

Today, the only major difference between the two is their range of compatibility with devices.

When we talk about HSRP, it has become much more stable over the years. Even though it is only proprietary to Cisco devices, it is still the most preferred network.

This is since most of the technical work is done on Cisco devices only. As a result, a wider range of compatibility is not needed.

Nevertheless, HSRP cannot be called as future-proof as Cisco VRRP offers much better functionalities.

With growing technology in the near future and expected improvements in Cisco VRRP, HSRP will be overpowered by Cisco VRRP. It is much more versatile and highly compatible.

As of the current scenario, there is not much difference between the two as they serve the same purpose. The only practical difference is with the difference in range of their compatibilities.

References

  1. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.452.4039&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.17487/RFC2281
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