Package delivery redirection.

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Article ID: 159374

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Updated On:

Products

Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)

Issue/Introduction

Question
What is the logic used by Notification Server and Software Delivery Solution to deliver packages to the primary or a secondary drive?

Environment

ITMS 7.x, 8.x

Resolution

Note:
Most of the information below still applies to recent version in some degree. Improvements and features have been added to this process.
See as well:
150359 "Configuring Primary File Storage Location for Package Servers Post-ITMS 8.0"

Answer
Notification Server contains the base logic for package delivery, and this is enhanced with the installation of Software Delivery Solution. When a package (not just Software Delivery packages) is assigned to a collection to be delivered to a group of computers, the following steps take place:

  1. The Altiris Agent receives its information regarding an assigned Task/Package from the Client Configuration Policy that is located in the folder ...\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies\<servername>.xml. The Altiris Agent creates a folder for each package that will be downloaded in the ...\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Software Delivery and the folder name is the package GUID.

    Note: The drive letter is dependent on where the Altiris Agent was installed.
  2. The Altiris Agent then does a getpackageinfo.aspx request to get the codebases defining where the package can be downloaded from (the package.xml is created).
  3. The Altiris Agent also receives the snapshot.xml file, and this contains information specific to the package: file names, file size, file last modified date, as well as the the package path, the snapshot creation time, a snapshot hash, package version, and so on. (The snapshot.xml file is created from information on the Notification Server in the snapshot folder.)
  4. The Altiris Agent initiates the package download according to the package download schedule defined in the Client Configuration Policy XML file.
  5. Prior to downloading any files the Altiris Agent checks the local drive (where the Altiris Agent is installed) to see if sufficient disk space exists to download the file. The free disk space results are compared to 120% of the package size information (contained in the snapshot.xml file) and the "Min Disk Free Space" registry key (HKLM\Software\Altiris\Communications\Package Delivery key) is also referenced.

    Note: The "Min Disk Free Space" registry key ensures a defined minimum amount of free disk space that will be available after package downloads are completed. The default is 500 MB. 
  6. If sufficient disk space exists on the default Altiris Agent drive then the package is downloaded into the ...\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Software Delivery\<package GUID>\Cache folder. 
  7. If insufficient disk space would exist—in other words, downloading the package would cause the disk space to dip below the minimum required disk space, the Altiris Agent then does a registry check to identify if other drives are available to download to. If no other drives are available then the package download fails with an insufficient disk space message. If other drives are available then the same disk space check takes place for the new drive, and if there is space the file system structure ...\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Software Delivery\<package GUID>\Cache is created and the package is downloaded. If insufficient disk space exists on any of the available drives then the package download fails with an insufficient disk space message.

Note: When packages are downloaded to secondary drives the package.xml, snapshot.xml, and log.xml files are always created on the primary drive only. Also, there is no indication in the agent.log file that the package was downloaded to a secondary drive.