About virtual network gateways for ExpressRoute

A virtual network gateway is used to send network traffic between Azure virtual networks and on-premises locations. You can use a virtual network gateway for either ExpressRoute traffic, or VPN traffic. This article focuses on ExpressRoute virtual network gateways and contains information about SKUs, estimated performance by SKU, and gateway types.


This article has been updated to use the new Azure PowerShell Az module. To learn more about the new Az module and AzureRM compatibility, see Introducing the new Azure PowerShell Az module. For installation instructions, see Install Azure PowerShell.

Gateway types

When you create a virtual network gateway, you need to specify several settings. One of the required settings, '-GatewayType', specifies whether the gateway is used for ExpressRoute, or VPN traffic. The two gateway types are:

  • Vpn - To send encrypted traffic across the public Internet, you use the gateway type 'Vpn'. This is also referred to as a VPN gateway. Site-to-Site, Point-to-Site, and VNet-to-VNet connections all use a VPN gateway.

  • ExpressRoute - To send network traffic on a private connection, you use the gateway type 'ExpressRoute'. This is also referred to as an ExpressRoute gateway and is the type of gateway used when configuring ExpressRoute.

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.

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-AzVirtualNetworkGateway' 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. Recreating a gateway incurs downtime.

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 10,000 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.

Zone-redundant gateway SKUs

You can also deploy ExpressRoute gateways in Azure Availability Zones. This physically and logically separates them into different Availability Zones, protecting your on-premises network connectivity to Azure from zone-level failures.

Zone-redundant ExpressRoute gateway

Zone-redundant gateways use specific new gateway SKUs for ExpressRoute gateway.

  • ErGw1AZ
  • ErGw2AZ
  • ErGw3AZ

The new gateway SKUs also support other deployment options to best match your needs. When creating a virtual network gateway using the new gateway SKUs, you also have the option to deploy the gateway in a specific zone. This is referred to as a zonal gateway. When you deploy a zonal gateway, all the instances of the gateway are deployed in the same Availability Zone.

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.

See Create a zone-redundant virtual network gateway for more information about configuring zone-redundant gateways.