Cisco VTI vs Crypto Map: Difference and Comparison

Today hacking has become an act that happens very frequently. Small to big, every kind of data can be easily leaked or infected by a hacker if not widely protected.

Due to this, Cisco VTI and Crypto Map have been developed to help both the sides of the users i.e. the customer and the company to ensure that the data they give out maintains confidentiality and stays protected by end-to-end encryptions.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cisco VTI provides point-to-point tunneling, whereas Crypto Map uses multipoint tunneling.
  2. Cisco VTI offers a simpler configuration process than Crypto Map.
  3. Crypto Map is more flexible for various network topologies, while Cisco VTI is best for hub-and-spoke topologies.

Cisco VTI vs Crypto Map

Cisco VTI is a new tool by Cisco allows customers to customize and configure their IPsec-based VPN and keep the network private. Crypto map is a software configuration entity developed by Cisco that selects the data flows that need security processing and states policies for such flows.

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Cisco VTI is a new tool for consumers for the configuration of VPNs that are IPsec-based between the devices that are site-to-site connected.

Cisco VTI maintains the confidentiality of the network and makes sure that the data gets encrypted before transferring it to other interfaces but is limited only to all the forms of IPs.

Crypto Map has been a heritage for IPsec for decades. It is divided into two sub-parts are Static crypto map and dynamic crypto map.

Status Crypto Map collects the traffic that shares the same characteristics. Dynamic Crypto Map, on the other hand, gathers the traffic or peers that tend to have the same characteristics and profile.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCisco VTICrypto Map
DefinitionIt is a tool that configures IPsec-based VPNs across site-to-site devices.It is software that identifies the traffics or peers.
FunctionIt lets the consumers configure their VPNs and keep the network private.It selects the flow of data that needs security processing and states policies for such flows.
BenefitsThe traffic is encrypted before transferring to another interface.It helps in setting restrictions in the router configuration for the prevention of certain peers.
Limitation or problemIt is limited to carrying every form of IP. On a tunnel, if the transport profile is enabled the crypto map will not support that tunnel.

What is Cisco VTI?

Cisco VTI is a tool used by consumers to configure the VPNs that are IPsec-based among the devices that are connected through one Open tunnel.

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The VTIs offer an appointed route across a WAN which is shared while enclosing the traffic with the help of new packet headers due to which the delivery to the specified destination is ensured.

The networks are kept private as the traffic is allowed to enter only at the endpoint. In addition to that, IPsec makes sure that the network is confidential and can carry encrypted traffic.

When a user has IPsec VTIs, they can easily offer highly secured connectivity for the VPNs of the sites connected through one tunnel and can be employed with Cisco AVVID i.e. Architecture for Voice, Video, and Integrated Data, for delivering collected voice, video, and information to IP networks.

Working with IPsec VTI simplifies the management process as customers can use the software virtual tunnel constructs by Cisco for configuring an IPsec VTI and hence simplify the complications of VPN configuration which then transforms into the minimized requirement for local IT support due to which expense also decreases.

It also supports multicast encryption which means customers can send multicast traffic using Cisco IPsec VTI. Cisco VTIs support IP routing protocols in every type which helps the customers connect huge environments such as a branch office.

What is Crypto Map?

Crypto maps are software configuration entities by Cisco that have been a legacy way to IPsec amenities session for years. The entries of Crypto maps should be made for setting up SAs for the flowing traffic that has to be encrypted.

Crypto maps help to identify peer and traffic that is to be encrypted directly by using Access Control Lists i.e. ACLs and this configuration form is also known as policy-based VPN.

The initial use of these crypto maps was to gather a few tunnels that varied in their profiles and characteristics such as partners, locations, or sites.

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Crypto Map is divided into two subparts. The first one is known as the Static Crypto Map which gathers peers and traffic who have varied characteristics and profiles.

The other is Dynamic Crypto Map that was developed for gathering peers that have similar or same characteristics (like the same configuration for many branch offices.) or peers having dynamic IP addresses.

But as the cases of IPsec use and scalability is growing drastically, the heritage of crypto map features have shown many limitations and problems which includes:

  • The combined explosion of pairs of sources.
  • Complications in the configuration when the crypto ACLs are long.
  • Likely to mismatch ACL configuration. 

Main Differences Between Cisco VTI and Crypto Map

  1. VTI stands for virtual tunnel interface which is a tool by Cisco for configuring IPsec-based VPNs. On the other hand, a Crypto map is used for identifying peers and traffic on an interface.
  2. Cisco VTI helps customers with the configuration of their VPNs so that their network can be kept confidential. Whereas, Crypto Map chooses that data flow that requires IPsec protection and then defines policies for those data flows.
  3. Cisco VTI was developed for helping common people whereas, the crypto map was developed for the companies to maintain the account for traffic and peers.
  4. Before the data is transferred to another interface, Cisco VTI ensures that the information is encoded for confidentiality purposes, whereas the crypto map helps IPsec in setting up the SAs for the traffic that is needed to be encrypted.
  5. The limitation of Cisco VTI is that it is restricted only to all the forms of IPs, whereas the limitation of the Crypto map is that it does not support a tunnel that has its tunnel profile enabled.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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