1. What are Regional Internet Breakout and what are they used for?
Latency is a major challenge in the IoT business. EMnify offers a world-wide cloud based IoT solution which can suffer from it. To prevent this, we set up Regional Internet Breakouts (RIB) to route the data traffic dynamically based on the device's location or set on a pre-configured Internet Breakout. These are designed to reduce the distance between our Cloud infrastructure and our client's server gathering the data sent by the smart devices using our SIM cards. Usually, you will select a specific RIB to:
- Reduce the distance between our cloud and your application server. Ex: your devices are in Europe but sending data to your server in the USA. It can be better to choose the American RIB (Option 2a in the examples below).
- Reduce the distance between the smart devices and our cloud. Ex: you use our SIM cards in routers to get Internet access on location: you would probably choose the RIB where your devices are located (option 1a in the examples below).
2. Configuration of a Regional Internet Breakout in the EUI
In the EUI, you can configure the RIB for your devices under "Service Profiles". Select one of your profile and navigate to "basic configuration". Here you can find a drop down menu called "Internet Breakout Region".
You can choose between several solutions:
Option 1: “Regional Breakout” will let the system dynamically choose the breakout region, based on the visited network’s location. We advise you to choose this option if you don't know where your devices will be deployed or used.
Option 2: Choosing a specific region will route the traffic exclusively through the selected breakout. Here are the RIB offered:
- EU-West-1, located in Dublin / Ireland. It covers Europe and Africa and is composed of several GGSN (a gateway to the Internet) each with different IP addresses. When using this option, your devices may connect to the Internet with different IP addresses depending on the GGSN they use.
- US-east-1, located in Ashburn, Virginia USA. It covers Canada, North and South America. Multiple GGSN are used and offer failover.
- Ap-southeast-1, located in Singapore covers Asia, Australia, New Zealand. Multiple GGSN are used and offer failover.
Option 3: If you want to use a VPN to directly access your devices, select one of the RIB with the VPN option (ap-southeast-1 (VPN) for example). If you don't choose this option, you will not be able to connect to your devices using a VPN. When this option is chosen, all traffic goes through one GGSN only, meaning no failover are available if the VPN option is selected.
- If all your devices connect to your application server based in one region only, use the RIB closest to this region.
- If you don't know where your devices will be deployed, choose option 1
- If you want to use a VPN to connect to your devices choose the RIB of your choice with the VPN option.
- If you are not using a VPN, do not choose the VPN option.
3. Breakout with regional public IP
Endpoints that are connected to a certain region will appear on the internet with a public IP registered to that region. That will be noticed by any service that takes the geo-location of IPs into account (e.g., the user will end up on google.com instead of google.ie). This also means that the user can make endpoints virtually appear in the desired region regardless of their physical location.
The Endpoint/SIM Connectivity Status now shows the current breakout region and IP address in the EMnify UI.
In the screenshots below, you can see the same device connected via eu-west-1 and then us-west-1. The Breakout IP changes and locates the device either in Ireland or in Virginia.
Scenarios for dynamic RIB
When will my configurations changes be applied?
Configuration changes will only be applied to new endpoint connections. Endpoints that are already connected will change their routing whenever they reconnect.
Is there a failover system? Are RIBs affected by degraded performance?
In case a specific region suffers from a total loss of connectivity, the system will automatically re-allocate endpoints to other regions (regardless of the configuration in the service profile). Internet breakout will continue to work with degraded performance.
Once a connectivity with the region of choice is recovered, endpoints will automatically be transferred back to the default region.
How are customers with active VPNs (RIB + VPN option is chosen) affected by a regional connectivity loss?
When the VPN option is chosen, the whole traffic goes through one GGSN. Customers with VPN to the affected region won’t be able have access to the service. The solution would be to change their VPN and choose another region.