HSRP is a first-hop redundancy protocol (FHRP) that allows a transparent failover of the first-hop IP router. HSRP provides first-hop routing redundancy for IP hosts on Ethernet networks configured with a default router IP address. You use HSRP in a group of routers for selecting an active router and a standby router. In a group of routers, the active router is the router that routes packets; the standby router is the router that takes over when the active router fails or when preset conditions are met.
Many host implementations do not support any dynamic router discovery mechanisms but can be configured with a default router. Running a dynamic router discovery mechanism on every host is not practical for many reasons, including administrative overhead, processing overhead, and security issues. HSRP provides failover services to these hosts.
When you use HSRP, you configure the HSRP virtual IP address as the host’s default router (instead of the IP address of the actual router). The virtual IP address is an IPv4 or IPv6 address that is shared among a group of routers that run HSRP.
When you configure HSRP on a network segment, you provide a virtual MAC address and a virtual IP address for the HSRP group. You configure the same virtual address on each HSRP-enabled interface in the group. You also configure a unique IP address and MAC address on each interface that acts as the real address. HSRP selects one of these interfaces to be the active router. The active router receives and routes packets destined for the virtual MAC address of the group.
HSRP detects when the designated active router fails. At that point, a selected standby router assumes control of the virtual MAC and IP addresses of the HSRP group. HSRP also selects a new standby router at that time.
HSRP uses a priority designator to determine which HSRP-configured interface becomes the default active router. To configure an interface as the active router, you assign it with a priority that is higher than the priority of all the other HSRP-configured interfaces in the group. The default priority is 100, so if you configure just one interface with a higher priority, that interface becomes the default active router.
Interfaces that run HSRP send and receive multicast User Datagram Protocol (UDP)-based hello messages to detect a failure and to designate active and standby routers. When the active router fails to send a hello message within a configurable period of time, the standby router with the highest priority becomes the active router. The transition of packet forwarding functions between the active and standby router is completely transparent to all hosts on the network.
You can configure multiple HSRP groups on an interface.
The following figure shows a network configured for HSRP. By sharing a virtual MAC address and a virtual IP address, two or more interfaces can act as a single virtual router.
The virtual router does not physically exist but represents the common default router for interfaces that are configured to provide backup to each other. You do not need to configure the hosts on the LAN with the IP address of the active router. Instead, you configure them with the IP address of the virtual router (virtual IP address) as their default router. If the active router fails to send a hello message within the configurable period of time, the standby router takes over, responds to the virtual addresses, and becomes the active router, assuming the active router duties. From the host perspective, the virtual router remains the same.
Packets received on a routed port destined for the HSRP virtual IP address terminate on the local router, regardless of whether that router is the active HSRP router or the standby HSRP router. This process includes ping and Telnet traffic. Packets received on a Layer 2 (VLAN) interface destined for the HSRP virtual IP address terminate on the active router.
Cisco NX-OS supports HSRP version 1 by default. You can configure an interface to use HSRP version 2.
Expands the group number range. HSRP version 1 supports group numbers from 0 to 255. HSRP version 2 supports group numbers from 0 to 4095.
For IPv4, uses the IPv4 multicast address 22.214.171.124 or the IPv6 multicast address FF02::66 to send hello packets instead of the multicast address of 126.96.36.199, which is used by HSRP version 1.
Uses the MAC address range from 0000.0C9F.F000 to 0000.0C9F.FFFF for IPv4 and 0005.73A0.0000 through 0005.73A0.0FFF for IPv6 addresses. HSRP version 1 uses the MAC address range 0000.0C07.AC00 to 0000.0C07.ACFF.
Adds support for MD5 authentication.
When you change the HSRP version, Cisco NX-OS reinitializes the group because it now has a new virtual MAC address.
HSRP version 2 has a different packet format than HSRP version 1. The packet format uses a type-length-value (TLV) format. HSRP version 2 packets received by an HSRP version 1 router are ignored.
HSRP for IPv4
HSRP routers communicate with each other by exchanging HSRP hello packets. These packets are sent to the destination IP multicast address 188.8.131.52 (reserved multicast address used to communicate to all routers) on UDP port 1985. The active router sources hello packets from its configured IP address and the HSRP virtual MAC address while the standby router sources hellos from its configured IP address and the interface MAC address, which might be the burned-in address (BIA). The BIA is the last six bytes of the MAC address that is assigned by the manufacturer of the network interface card (NIC).
Because hosts are configured with their default router as the HSRP virtual IP address, hosts must communicate with the MAC address associated with the HSRP virtual IP address. This MAC address is a virtual MAC address, 0000.0C07.ACxy, where xy is the HSRP group number in hexadecimal based on the respective interface. For example, HSRP group 1 uses the HSRP virtual MAC address of 0000.0C07.AC01. Hosts on the adjoining LAN segment use the normal Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) process to resolve the associated MAC addresses.
HSRP version 2 uses the new IP multicast address 184.108.40.206 to send hello packets instead of the multicast address of 220.127.116.11, which is used by version 1. HSRP version 2 permits an expanded group number range of 0 to 4095 and uses a new MAC address range of 0000.0C9F.F000 to 0000.0C9F.FFFF.
HSRP for IPv6
IPv6 hosts learn of available IPv6 routers through IPv6 neighbor discovery (ND) router advertisement (RA) messages. These messages are multicast periodically, or might be solicited by hosts, but the time delay for detecting when a default route is down might be 30 seconds or more. HSRP for IPv6 provides a much faster switchover to an alternate default router than the IPv6 ND protocol provides, less than a second if the milliseconds timers are used. HSRP for IPv6 provides a virtual first hop for IPv6 hosts.
When you configure an IPv6 interface for HSRP, the periodic RAs for the interface link-local address stop after IPv6 ND sends a final RA with a router lifetime of zero. No restrictions occur for the interface IPv6 link-local address. Other protocols continue to receive and send packets to this address.
IPv6 ND sends periodic RAs for the HSRP virtual IPv6 link-local address when the HSRP group is active. These RAs stop after a final RA is sent with a router lifetime of 0 when the HSRP group leaves the active state. HSRP uses the virtual MAC address for active HSRP group messages only (hello, coup, and resign).
HSRP version 2
UDP port 2029
Virtual MAC address range from 0005.73A0.0000 through 0005.73A0.0FFF
Multicast link-local IP destination address of FF02::66
Hop limit set to 255