How does site maintenance affect the Altiris Agent?

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Article ID: 180059

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Updated On:

Products

Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)

Issue/Introduction

 

Resolution

Question
How does site maintenance affect the Symantec Management Agent (formally Altiris Agent)?

Answer

Note: This content was created for NS 6.0 days but the principles mentioned here still applies to 7.0, 7.1, 7.5, 7.6 and 8.x.

The Altiris Agent no longer receives codebases for a package inside the Client configuration file (as in Notification Server 5.5).

After a new client configuration file is received, the Altiris Agent visits the GetPackageInfo.aspx page to obtain the appropriate package codebases for the site it is a member of before it will begin downloading the package.

The Altiris Agent should only receive codebases of Package Servers contained in the same site defined under Site maintenance.

Special conditions and expected behavior of the Agent is listed below:

Sites defined:
 

  1. If the subnet that the Agent is a member of is not in a Site - return NS codebases.
  2. If the Agent is a member of a Site that contains No Package Severs - return NS codebases
  3. If there are Package Servers in a Site and the package is ready - return the Package Server codebases.
  4. If there are Package Severs in  a Site, but none have the package ready - return no codebases. (Agents will retry until they succeed to get the ready Package Serve codebases.)
  5. If there is only one Package Server in a site and a package has not been allocated to replicate to that Package Server -  return no codebases.

No Sites defined:

  1. The NS first tries to find any Package Server on the same subnet as the Agent - return Package Server codebases.
  2. If no Package Server on the same subnet with the package ready - All Package Servers defined will return codebases.
  3. If no Package Servers have the package ready - return NS codebases.

The Notification Server logs messages each time one of the above conditions occurs.

In NS 6.0: Inside the Reports tab, under the category "Altiris Agent Package info requests," there are a few reports which are based on these log messages.
In SMP 7.x & 8.x: Under SMP Console>Reports>All Reports>Notification Server Management>Server

How Site Maintenance affects Package Server Agents

Package Servers no longer receive codebases in the Client configuration file. Although the Client configuration file will list all of the packages to store in its repository, Package Servers also visit the GetPackageInfo.aspx page to obtain the appropriate package codebases before downloading any packages.

As of Notification Server 6.0 SP3 and later the concept exists of constrained and unconstrained Package Servers. Unconstrained package servers are allowed to download packages from the Notification Server, as well as from other Package Servers within the same site. Constrained Package Servers can only download packages from other Package Servers within the same site-never from the Notification Server.  Whenever sites are defined and package servers are assigned to those sites, at least 1 "Unconstrained" package server must exist; otherwise, none of the constrained package servers will be able to download packages directly from the Notification Server.

Special conditions and expected behavior of Package Server is listed below:

  1. If the Subnet that a Package Server is a member of is not in a Site, return the Notification Server codebases
  2. If there is only one Package Server in a Site, return the Notification Server codebases (only for Unconstrained Package Servers)
  3. If there are no other Package Servers in a Site that have a Package ready, return the Notification Server codebases (only for Unconstrained Package Servers)
  4. If the package being requested is the Package Server agent package, and there are no other Package Servers in the site ready with the package then return Notification Server codebases.
  5. If the Package Server is set to Constrained inside the Package Server tab of the Site Maintenance page, the Notification Server codebase will not be returned, only other Package Servers within the same site. If none exist or are ready with the package, then the Package Server will receive no codebases

NOTE: When a Symantec Management Agent with a constrained or unconstrained Package Server, or with no Package Server installed, reaches the default download retry of 240 minutes with no download source available, the SMP Server is provided as a last-resort download location. This is controlled in ITMS 7.6, 8.0, 8.1 with the MaxAgentDownloadTryingTimeMins setting in the CoreSettings.config file on the SMP Server. Setting MaxAgentDownloadTryingTimeMins to 0 effectively disables the retry limit where the SMP Server is provided as a last-resort download location.

Additional Information

REFERENCE ID : : 4122780