The modern router

Original Source

Local Breakout is the feature that solves this problem. Communication with cloud services that have the risk of putting a high load on the network is not sent to the main network but directly sent from child networks. Communication with non-cloud services is sent via WAN to the main network as per usual. The servers that one communicates to for cloud services such as Office 365 are predetermined. Also, communication with them is typically encrypted via HTTPS. That means separating out the communications with the cloud is possible, and there are no issues from a security perspective.

Let's take a more detailed look at how one implements Local Breakout.

For Office 365, Microsoft lists the server information publicly. This list has the IPv4 address, IPv6 address, and FQDN of all the servers written down. That makes you can determine that communication that matches that information is meant for Office 365. By sending that information through the internet connection, you have implemented Local Breakdown.

There are in fact vendors that have information on the internet that explains how to set up a router in this way. However, the servers that Office 365 uses are periodically changed, so the settings must be changed to match.

To deal with that, something that has gotten more widespread recently is using a vendor-provided signature. A signature is the set of rules that a router uses. It's similar to the pattern filters and virus definition files in anti-virus software. It includes things such as a server's IPv4/IPv6 address, port number, and authentication method.

By using signatures, the administrator doesn't have to deal with the minutia of the settings. Communication settings for common applications like Office 365 are provided in the menus, and an administrator simply has to select them.

For example, the settings menu in Yamaha products displays a list of common things such as Office 365, Windows Update, etc that cause a high load on the network. From the settings options, you can select which communications you want to apply Local Breakout to and choose the location to send the packets.

Any errata or comments can be made by sending me a pull request.