I work for a service provider that currenlty has around 500 client sites with an average of 4 phones per site. Currently we use a Cisco 3745 but are migrating to a 3845 in a week. We are changing routers as the 3700 cannot hold a large enough config file.
Due to the number of client sites and the differences at these sites we have around 1500 dial-peers on the gateway. We are currently working on combineing as many DP's as possible but we will still have around 1000 and counting as new sites go in.
The issue is when you add more dial-peers the router complains that this may affect the performance. Also with this many DP's the ocnfig file is huge.
Does anyone know of a better soution for us? maybe we should not be using a router??
Most logical thing I can think of is switch to something software based, such as CallManager or Asterisk to manage the dial plan. The router would then only be used to connect to the PSTN, and would have only a handful dial-peers to manage. The servers would also have the advantage of redundancy; obviously very important if you're a SP.
Usually a Gatekeeper would be used to provide a centralized dial plan, however in this case you only have one gateway so that would be pointless.
I would recommend that you consider a gatekeer or gatekeepers for your network. A gatekeeper is functionality that resides in an IOS router. A gatekeeper can perform functions such as address translation, call admission control, and bandwidth management among other things. One big advantage in your scenario is dial plan simplification. Take a look at the following links and search CCO for gatekeeper.
On the customer sites there can be ATA's coming back to an Asterisk server, 1760's with analog voice ports (FXS cards), call manager or a 1760/2801 with PRI card to clients PBX. SO really there is no standard for us.
We have used the service compress-config command, but we still have to many DP's??
consider that in most large configurations, is best practice to keep certain part of config on one or more hosts, also for ease of editing etc.
Sophisticated installations have script that ensure that changes made to object like dial-peer, bgp entities, etc are negated before reconfiguring, automatically. Then there scheduled push to the router or group of routers.
You could even develop a system by which you create a record of settings for a customer, eg in a GUI to be used by routine personel, and then translated in dial-peer configurations in a file as above described.
At the top of the performance, you can end with something like a 7200 with NPE_G1 or 2 to be _very_ fast in keeping together a very, very high number of dial-peers. Although I believe the 3845 will have enough performance in routers not using an optic backhaul.
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