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Cisco Routers for the Desperate, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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Hot Standby Router Protocol

After you have BGP up and running, the next obvious question is, "What do we do if the router itself fails?" While Cisco routers are generally reliable, even the best hardware sometimes lets the magic smoke escape and transforms itself into a shiny metal paperweight. Cisco's best service contract still gives you a couple hours of downtime in this circumstance. Cisco supports the Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) to provide live failover between routers in this eventuality. You can build a "pool" of independent Cisco devices that will take over some functions of a failed router. HSRP will not provide live failover of all of the failed router's functions, but it provides enough coverage that your users will not notice. ...

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