About virtual network gateways for ExpressRoute

A virtual network gateway is used to send network traffic between Azure virtual networks and on-premises locations. When you configure an ExpressRoute connection, you must create and configure a virtual network gateway and a virtual network gateway connection.

When you create a virtual network gateway, you specify several settings. One of the required settings specifies whether the gateway will be used for ExpressRoute or Site-to-Site VPN traffic. In the Resource Manager deployment model, the setting is '-GatewayType'.

When network traffic is sent on a private connection, you use the gateway type 'ExpressRoute'. This is also referred to as an ExpressRoute gateway. When network traffic is sent encrypted across the public Internet, you use the gateway type 'Vpn'. This is referred to as a VPN gateway. Site-to-Site, Point-to-Site, and VNet-to-VNet connections all use a VPN gateway.

Each virtual network can have only one virtual network gateway per gateway type. For example, you can have one virtual network gateway that uses -GatewayType Vpn, and one that uses -GatewayType ExpressRoute. This article focuses on the ExpressRoute virtual network gateway.

Gateway SKUs

When you create a virtual network gateway, you need to specify the gateway SKU that you want to use. When you select a higher gateway SKU, more CPUs and network bandwidth are allocated to the gateway, and as a result, the gateway can support higher network throughput to the virtual network.

ExpressRoute virtual network gateways can use the following SKUs:

  • Standard
  • HighPerformance
  • UltraPerformance

If you want to upgrade your gateway to a more powerful gateway SKU, in most cases you can use the 'Resize-AzureRmVirtualNetworkGateway' PowerShell cmdlet. This will work for upgrades to Standard and HighPerformance SKUs. However, to upgrade to the UltraPerformance SKU, you will need to recreate the gateway.

Estimated performances by gateway SKU

The following table shows the gateway types and the estimated performances. This table applies to both the Resource Manager and classic deployment models.

Megabits per second Packets per second Connections per second VPN Gateway and ExpressRoute coexist
Basic SKU (deprecated) 500 Unknown Unknown No
Standard SKU 1,000 100,000 7,000 Yes
High Performance SKU 2,000 250,000 14,000 Yes
Ultra Performance SKU 9,000 1,000,000 28,000 Yes


Application performance depends on multiple factors, such as the end-to-end latency, and the number of traffic flows the application opens. The numbers in the table represent the upper limit that the application can theoretically achieve in an ideal environment.

REST APIs and PowerShell cmdlets

For additional technical resources and specific syntax requirements when using REST APIs and PowerShell cmdlets for virtual network gateway configurations, see the following pages:

Classic Resource Manager
PowerShell PowerShell

Next steps

See ExpressRoute Overview for more information about available connection configurations.

See Create a virtual network gateway for ExpressRoute for more information about creating ExpressRoute gateways.