In both traditional and future SD-WAN network architectures, IPsec encryption performance is one of the most important technologies for secure delivery of customer traffic in branch routers. Higher IPsec throughput performance can also translate into improved customer experience and even revenue.

Miercom recently validated a few models of Cisco and Huawei fixed branch routers, measuring RFC 2544 IPsec encryption throughput performance. The testing shows that the Cisco 1111 Integrated Services Router (ISR) demonstrated the highest average IPsec throughput performance of 365 Mbps, compared to Huawei and HPE fixed branch routers. The Huawei AR1220E shows only 245 Mbps. The result is the average of 20 test results, so it is very reliable.

Table 1 shows the overall throughput performance comparison chart from the Miercom report.

Table 1. Competitive WAN performance

Let’s look at the result variation among the 20 test runs. See Table 2.

Table 2. WAN performance variation

The Huawei AR1220E fixed router shows the largest throughput variations. In other words, Huawei fixed router throughput performance is not the same when measured at different times under the same setup conditions and environments. To customers, this could mean very inconsistent throughput due to complex processing of I/O, buffering, table lookup, queuing, and forwarding sessions. For a service provider, this could result in poor customer satisfaction.

If we look at the overall test result variations reported by Miercom, the two Cisco fixed ISRs, the 1117 and 1111, have the lowest variations in IPsec throughput results, while the three Huawei fixed routers, the AR1220E, AR169FGW-L, and AR201, show the highest variations. See Table 3. To customers, this means that if you pick Cisco fixed routers as your branch router for WAN services, you will get better and more consistent IPsec throughput performance, while if you pick Huawei fixed routers, the service may be very inconsistent.

Table 3. Competitive WAN performance variability

For the full details, download the comprehensive Miercom report and accompanying test results.


Prashanth Shenoy

Vice President of Marketing

Enterprise Networking and Mobility