Hot Standby Router Protocol

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In computer networking, the Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) is a Cisco proprietary redundancy protocol for establishing a fault-tolerant default gateway, and has been described in detail in RFC 2281.

The protocol establishes a framework between network routers in order to achieve default gateway failover if the primary gateway becomes inaccessible,[1] in close association with a rapid-converging routing protocol like EIGRP or OSPF. By multicasting packets, HSRP sends its hello messages to the multicast address (all routers) for version 1, or for version 2,[2] using UDP port 1985, to other HSRP-enabled routers, defining priority between the routers. The primary router with the highest configured priority will act as a virtual router with a pre-defined gateway IP address and will respond to the ARP request from machines connected to the LAN with the MAC address 0000.0C07.ACXX (or 0000.0C9F.FXXX for HSRPv2) where X will be hex representation of the (decimal) group ID. If the primary router should fail, the router with the next-highest priority would take over the gateway IP address and answer ARP requests with the same MAC address, thus achieving transparent default gateway failover.

HSRP is not a routing protocol as it does not advertise IP routes or affect the routing table in any way.

HSRP has the ability to trigger a failover if one or more interfaces on the router go down. This can be useful for dual branch routers each with a single serial link back to the head end. If the serial link of the primary router goes down, the backup router will take over the primary functionality and thus retain connectivity to the head end.

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