Cisco VRRP vs HSRP: Difference and Comparison

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 redundancy protocols that are almost similarly capable but distinguished by a few deciding factors.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cisco VRRP and HSRP are protocols used for redundancy in IP networks.
  2. VRRP is an open standard protocol, while HSRP is a Cisco proprietary protocol.
  3. VRRP can support more than two routers in a group, while HSRP supports only up to two.

Cisco VRRP vs HSRP

Cisco VRRP means Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol and is a software-designed networking protocol by Cisco Systems that is used to reduce the risk of failure in a static default routed environment. Cisco HSRP stands for Hot Standby Routing Protocol ad is a networking protocol proprietary to Cisco Systems.

Cisco VRRP vs HSRP

Cisco VRRP stands for Cisco Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol. Cisco VRRP is a software-designed networking protocol used to eliminate or minimize the risk of any 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

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 used to eliminate or minimize the risk of any failure inherent in the static default routed environment.

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

As the name suggests, it achieves everything by creating multiple virtual 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 also compatible with other devices.

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 to obtain 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.

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Furthermore, HSRP is not an open standard protocol; therefore, 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 an 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 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 improving protocol, whereas HSRP is an older yet more stable one.
References
  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.17487/RFC2281

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Cisco VRRP vs HSRP: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This detailed comparison covers essential points, but it remains important to consider the context of usage for these protocols.

    Reply
  2. I found the section explaining what HSRP is to be very insightful. It covered the protocol’s purpose effectively

    Reply

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