What is the difference between HSRP and VRRP Protocols

HSRP Vs VRRP Comparison Table

HSRP Protocol

VRRP Protocol

 Cisco Propietary IEEE Standards based and Open Standard
RFC 2281 RFC 3768
Separate IP Address needed for the Virtual IP address in  HSRP Group Can use the Virtual IP Address of the VRRP Group as Physical IP address of any Router in VRRP group , if needed, saving IP space.
One Master, all other routers are backup One Master, One Standby, all others are listening State
More familiar to most network engineers Less familiar – yet very similar
Can track an interface for failover Can track an interface for failover (depending on operating system and version)
In HSRP Preempt disabled by default In VRRP preempt enabled by default
In HSRP is maximum configurable priority on the Router is 255 In VRRP is maximum configurable priority on the Router is 254
In HSRP, there are equal priority Routers then the one which is active Router remains active when the standby (former active) Router comes back In VRRP priority is equal between Routers, the Router which is having highest IP address will preempt
In HSRP multiple Routers can have a priority setting of 255 Only one router can have a VRRP priority setting of 255, The Router that “owns the IP address” for the group automatically gets a VRRP priority setting of 255
All HSRP routers use multicast hello packets to (all routers) for version 1 or for version 2. All VRRP routers use IP protcol number 112 (vrrp) to communicate via multicast IP address
All virtual router must use MAC address 0000.0c07.acXX where XX is the group ID. All virtual routers must use 00-00-5E-00-01-XX as its Media Access Control (MAC) address


Configuration difference between HSRP and VRRP 

The configuration difference between both VRRP and HSRP protocol for gateway redundancy on a Cisco router are very slight.  If your familiar with HSRP Configuration on Cisco Router, you can easily understand VRRP commands also.  Configuring VRRP on Juniper as well as other network equipment can vary significantly depending on the devices.  Many load balancers also support VRRP and their configuration is specific to each of these devices.

Here are some configuration examples as seen on a Cisco router:

HSRP Configuration Example

Cisco-R1(config)# interface GigE 0/1
Cisco-R1(config-if)# ip address
Cisco-R1(config-if)# standby 1 ip
Cisco-R1(config-if)# standby 1 priority 200
Cisco-R1(config-if)# standby 1 preempt

Cisco-R2(config-if)# ip address
Cisco-R2(config-if)# standby 1 ip
Cisco-R2(config-if)# standby 1 preempt

VRRP Configuration Example

Cisco-R1(config)# interface GigE 0/1
Cisco-R1(config-if)# ip address
Cisco-R1(config-if)# vrrp 1 ip
Cisco-R1(config-if)# vrrp 1 priority 110

Cisco-R2(config)# interface GigE 0/1
Cisco-R2(config-if)# ip address
Cisco-R2(config-if)# vrrp 1 ip

Note: I didn’t configured preempt command. This isn’t necessary for VRRP.  Preempt enabled by default in VRRP.

As you can see there no such a big difference between the two protocols. The primary difference between HSRP versus VRRP would be that HSRP is proprietary to Cisco and can only be used on Cisco devices. VRRP is a IEEE standards based protocol and is vendor independant allow some flexibility when choosing network devices.




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  1. Joe says:

    Thanks for the info really helpful!

  2. Sandy says:

    Find difference between HSRP and VRRP Protocols

    HSRP and VRRP both are the virtual routing protocols that overcome the problem of single gateway failure. Both works with many similarities, such as redundancy and load balancing, but with significant difference as bellow:

    HSRP (Host Standby Router Protocol) is Cisco proprietary protocol whereas VRRP (Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol) is an open standards-based protocol.

    HSRP use default hello timer of 3 second with a hold timer of 10 seconds whereas VRRP use default hello timer of 1 second with a hold timer of 3 seconds.

    In HSRP, one router is active, one is standby and the rest are in listening state, if more than 2 routers are in the group. In VRRP the active router is called master router whereas all other routers in the group are in backup state.

    VRRP supports default pre-emption where as HSRP needs it to configured.

    In HSRP the highest interface address wins the election whereas in VRRP, if a router uses virtual IP as an interface IP, this router becomes the active or master, if the priorities are default.

  3. Ram says:

    As per theory VRRP will failover faster. But timers are easily adjusted in HSRP.

  4. Amit says:

    Hi All,

    I dont think there is a big difference b/e HSRP and VRRP. a small diff. is that in VRRP, a back up VRRP Router does not send advertisments.


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