all the routers that are not in Active or speak state will be in Listen state and will receive the HSRP hello messages from the Active and Standby that are sent to the multicast 184.108.40.206 all routers on subnet.
A practical number can be three or four.
If you look for real load-balancing capabilities you may be interested in GLBP.
GLBP is very good when there are many end users devices directly attached to the Vlan: this is because the AVG provides different answers to clients' ARP requests for the MAC of the default gateway.
There are cases where the two routers are offering a VIP to a single device that can be a Firewall or a Front-End of devices administered by another group/department and the two groups don't want to share dynamic routing information.
In a similar scenario GLBP is not able to provide its load-balancing capability because there is a single user and so once it makes an ARP request it will use only one router.
In these cases I would prefer HSRP to GLBP but actually a dynamic routing protocol would be better.
The reason ?
even in a high end routers like GSR every HSRP group takes an entry in the packet filter of the interface (a list of unicast and multicast MAC addresses that have to be processed) and this list was only made of 32 entries for every GE in a Engine 2 3GE linecard even using subinterfaces
The same happened in Cisco 7500.
Clearly HSRP is well known and GLBP being later starts to get popularity.
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