We’ve got a fairly large base of customers who use our Asterisk server for phone service in a virtual PBX kind of way, where the server is security hardened and exposed to the internet for them to connect to remotely with SIP and IAX. It’s certainly not the sort of affair where we’re running it as a PBX just within the building. As a result, we see network traffic coming through eth0 between 512 Kbps and about 3.0 Mbps, depending on the time of day.
We haven’t so far been using a hardware firewall/router on our server network, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that we need to. We have enough experience to know that Asterisk is pretty sensitive when it comes to network hardware in our situation – we’ve had to replace one otherwise perfectly good 100 Mbps network switch because it simply wasn’t able to keep up with the amount of streaming audio we put through it, and it badly affected voice quality. We have other traffic flowing through our server network too, including a significant amount of e-mail and web traffic, although that’s not quite as sensitive to the quality of our network hardware.
If you’ve got these large requirements for Asterisk, I’d love to hear what you use for a router, and whether that router has met your needs. It would also be nice to hear about what kinds of routers to avoid that you may have tried in the past and found lacking.