Azure VNet Peering vs VNet Gateways – What’s the Difference

Azure VNet Peering vs VNet Gateways – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). Both Azure VNet Peering vs VNet Gateways are servers that are used to connect virtual networks.

What is a virtual network then? Similar to on-premises network which we use switches and routers to communicate with servers and clients such as Azure VNet.

Both feature low latency and high bandwidth through virtual network peering. Particularly useful in scenarios such as database failover and data redundancy between regions. 

Whereas VPN gateways provide connections with limited bandwidth but are useful in scenarios that require encryption. Additionally there are bandwidth limitations that are tolerated.

In this article, we’ll do a thorough comparative analysis of Azure VNet Peering vs VNet Gateways to learn about their benefits and features. Moreover we learn about their strengths and weaknesses. At the very end, I will present you the differences between them.

If you want to know more about these two servers, please let’s start Azure VNet Peering vs VNet Gateways – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). 

What is Azure VNet Peering?

To connect seamlessly and easily it offers virtual network peering. First of all it allows you to connect to two virtual networks in Azure. Certainly there is no public internet involvement! Consequently the network for connection is displayed as one. In a peer to peer virtual network, the traffic that occurs between virtual machines uses the Microsoft infrastructure.

Certainly VNet peering also provides low latency, high bandwidth connections. But in return it is useful in scenarios such as cross region data replication and database failover.

Also there is a need due to high usage of  SaaS products that need robust and high performing internet connectivity.

VNet Peering Types

There are two types of VNet Peering and those are:

Global Virtual Network Pairing: Global VNet to VNet peering is when you connect different virtual networks (VNet) across Azure regions.

Virtual network peering: Connects virtual networks within the same Azure zone.

What are Azure VNet Peering Used for?

Virtualization can be a good way to enable network communication between services on different virtual networks. Because it’s easy to implement and deploy, and works well across all regions and subscriptions. 

Firstly network virtualization should be your first choice when integrating Azure Virtual Network.

Best possible public routing over the internet to Azure Cloud for continuous performance and reliability.

Remember if you have a connection like VPN or ExpressRoute service behind a basic Azure load balancer that you can access from a converged virtual network it might not be the best choice for you.

Other important use case will be for data replication and failover as well as regular backups of large data.

Benefits of using Azure VNet Peering

  • One advantage is low latency, high bandwidth connections between resources in different virtual networks.
  • Another benefit is no downtime for resources in any virtual network during symmetry creation or after symmetry.
  • More pluses is the ability to pair virtual networks created using resource management with networks created using the classic deployment model.
  • All in all you can move data between virtual networks using Azure subscriptions, Azure Active Directory tenants, deployment models and Azure zones.
  • As a result resources in a virtual network to communicate with resources in another virtual network.
  • Another key point is the ability to match virtual networks created using Azure Resource Manager.
  • As it was shown there is much higher traffic throughput compared to IPsec tunnels.
  • As well as there is traffic insights reporting and monitoring.
  • Connects over private IP.

Azure VNet Peering Key points

  • With Azure VNet Peering you can create symmetry between two virtual networks. Networks can belong to the same subscription, to different publishing models within the same subscription, or to different subscriptions.
  • Save time and money by centralizing services that can be shared by multiple resources located in different virtual networks.
  • Communication between virtual networks does not require a public Internet, gateways or even encryption.
  • Network traffic between peer to peer VPNs remains private.
  • Moreover traffic between virtual networks remains on the core Microsoft network.

Pros and cons of using Azure VNet Peering


  • Provides an isolated environment for your application.
  • Easily direct traffic from the resources.
  • High network connectivity.
  • Highly secure network.
  • By default, subnets within the same virtual network can access the regular public Internet.
  • Cost, well there is a small fee for incoming/outgoing traffic; £0.0061 per GB inbound and £0.0061 per GB. Still much cheaper than traditional alternatives for VPN connections between each virtual network.
  • Subscriptions the VPNs can be linked to different subscriptions. This is useful when a single organization has multiple Azure subscriptions for budget or logistics reasons.
  • Latency where traffic goes through the internal Azure backbone, allowing for low latency. The network response time for a round trip between two virtual machines in a peer to peer virtual network is the same as the round-trip latency in a virtual LAN.


  • Different regions – each virtual network pair must be in the same area.
  • Overlapping address space – where each virtual network pair must not have overlapping IP address spaces.
  • ASM to ASM – it is not possible to move from Azure Service Management (ASM) to Azure Service Management (ASM) virtual networks.
  • Remote Gateway– a virtual network that uses the external gateway of a virtual micro network cannot configure a local gateway. So virtual network can only have one gateway. It can be a local gateway or an external gateway (in a peer-to-peer virtual network).

Next with article blog Azure VNet Peering vs VNet Gateways – What’s the Difference ? is time to learn more about VNet Gateways.

What is a VNet Gateways?

A Gateway VPN server is an Azure virtual network designed to send encrypted traffic between a virtual network and an on premises location over the public internet. So that is why VPN Gateway is used to send encrypted traffic between Azure virtual networks, via Microsoft of course.

Worth adding that virtual networks have a specific type of VPN gateway. Additionally, each virtual network can only have one VPN gateway assigned. Also possible to create multiple connections to the same VPN gateway. 

However, when we make multiple connections to the same gateway, all VPN tunnels share the available bandwidth.

Gateway types

VPN – To send encrypted traffic over the public Internet, use the “VPN” gateway type. Also known as a VPN gateway. Site to site, point-to-site, and virtual network to virtual network connections use VPN gateways.

ExpressRoute – Dispatch network traffic over a private connection, use an “ExpressRoute” gateway. Also known as an ExpressRoute gateway, this is the type of gateway used when configuring ExpressRoute.

What are Virtual Network Gateways used for?

Mostly applied for hybrid cloud connectivity. Additionally used where encryption and routing is required.

Primarily speaking the virtual network gateway exists on a subnet of a virtual network and allows connectivity between the subnet and other networks. This is where the vast majority of VPN configurations reside.

With Azure VPN Gateway connects your on premises network to Azure using a site to site VPN. Similar to how you set up and connect to remote branch offices. In return connections are secure and use industry standard Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) and Internet Key Exchange (IKE) protocols.

Benefits of using VNet Gateways

  • A VPN gateway sends encrypted traffic between the Azure virtual network and your on-premises site over the public Internet.
  • You can also use a VPN gateway to send encrypted traffic between Azure virtual networks to Microsoft networks.
  • Browse safely by ensuring your connection is encrypted and your location is hidden.
  • Unlock access to zone content: Locked content prevents users from getting the information they need to complete a remote project or job. Evidently virtual private network is an essential tool for unblocking websites no matter where you are.
  • Assists with safety of online shopping. Safe shopping is everyone’s responsibility. When you see “HTTPS” in your browser’s address bar, it means that the website is protecting your personal data and credit card information.
  • No fears of using a Public WIFI.

Pros and cons of using VNet Gateways


  • Works perfectly for me. Very user friendly in terms of the configuration and the setup process.
  • The most valuable feature of Microsoft Azure VPN Gateway is its performance. Mostly very fast.
  • All of our offices are using Microsoft Azure VPN Gateway. The solution is scalable.
  • The best feature is the ability to connect from anywhere.


  • Their technical support could be better. If you don’t have a support contract, it takes longer.
  • It isn’t stabilized on the first day, and you need to set up the channels properly.
  • In the next release, Microsoft should add an option to schedule upgrades.
  • Microsoft Azure VPN Gateway can be enhanced by providing IPS protection against zero day threats. For example, IPS Zero Day Threat Protection can monitor user behaviour to protect infrastructure. This solution can only be used as a VPN and has no functionality.

Azure VNet Peering VS VNet Gateways - Comparison

Primarily with customers adopting Azure and the cloud, fast and private connection across regions and Azure Virtual Networks (VNets) is more and more in demand. 

Each VPN gateway supports a virtual network when you connect to the Internet. Data can be delivered using much less bandwidth than is required for actual network traffic.

Certainly this can be used to avoid disasters such as data redundancy between regions and database overflow.

Table comparison of Azure VNet Peering vs VNet Gateways

Comparison Azure VNet Peering VNet Gateways
Up to 500 virtual network peerings per virtual network.
Depends on the gateways SKU.
Transitive relationship
If VNet A is shown with VNet B and VNet B is pierced with VNet C, then VNet A and VNet C cannot currently communicate. Voice communication can be achieved through NVA or gateways in a central virtual network.
The switch works if VNet A, VNet B, and VNet C are connected through the VPN gateway and BGP is enabled on the VNet connection.
Typical customer scenarios
Scenarios that require frequent backups of large data, such as data replication and database failover.
Scenarios for leaves that are not latency sensitive and should not be scaled.
Initial setup time
It took me 24.38 seconds, but you should give it a shot.
30 mins to set it up.
Yes, there is no public IP endpoint. It is run by Microsoft Backbone and is completely private. Public internet is not involved.
Public IP involved.
Ingress/Egress charged.
Gateway + Egress charged.
Software level encryption is recommended.
Yes, custom IPsec/IKE policy can be created and applied to new or existing connections.
Bandwidth limitations
No bandwidth limitations.
Varies based on type of Gateway from 100 Mbps to 1.25Gps.

VNet Peering and VPN Gateways concluding

As your Azure workloads grow you should scale your network across regions and virtual networks to keep pace with growth. Well the Gateway Transit lets you share an ExpressRoute or VPN gateway with all your virtual networks and lets you manage connections in one place. 

In return that saves money and reduces administrative costs.

After enabling Gateway Transport on your virtual network peer, you can create a transit virtual network that contains your VPN gateway, network virtual machines, and other shared services. As your organization grows with new applications or business units and creates new virtual networks. 

You can connect to your virtual transport network by peering across the virtual network. This avoids adding complexity to the network and reduces management costs by managing multiple gateways and other devices.

Thank you for reading this blog article about Azure VNet Peering vs VNet Gateways – What’s the Difference ? We shall conclude. 

Azure VNet Peering vs VNet Gateways – What’s the Difference ? Conclusion

Summing up in VNet Peering  connection is private without Public IP endpoints. There is no public internet involved. Contrarily with VPN Gateways there is Public IP involved.

Finally Azure provides peer to peer virtual network gateways and virtual networks to connect virtual networks. Depending on your unique scenario, you may want to choose one or the other. We recommend using virtual network pairing in cross region scenarios.

Thanks’ a lot! I hope I helped.

Avatar for Kamil Wisniowski
Kamil Wisniowski

I love technology. I have been working with Cloud and Security technology for 5 years. I love writing about new IT tools.

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