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Questions on 'Block Network Activity' setting for the Symantec Management Agent


Article ID: 180731


Updated On:


IT Management Suite




The following are few questions asked by a customer regarding the "Block Network Activity" setting for the Symantec Management Agent (formerly Altiris agent).

Question: I assume this setting prevents clients from getting policy, but if we need to run something on clients asap and this is set, am I correct that a task would have to be used to get around it?
Answer: Unfortunately, tasks cannot be used, because Task Agent also respects blockout settings. However, there is a workaround from the client side - if you need to download the policy regardless of blockout, then use the buttons in the UI (“Update” configuration, “Send” inventory). Once the configuration is updated, the packages will appear as “Waiting for download”, then you will be able to override this by selecting the desired package and click “Download” link in it’s “Package Tasks” section on the window left side.

Question: It appears network activity can be blocked for up to 12 hours. For each interval selection, I assume the blockout is removed when the interval is up, correct?
Answer: Correct.
-Does the setting survive hibernation/standby, and pick up the timer from where it left off, or is it reset?
-Does the setting survive logoff/logon, and pick up the timer from where it left off, or is it reset?
-Does the setting survive restart, and pick up the timer from where it left off, or is it reset?
Answer: Blockouts are stored in registry and should survive the power off, hibernation, logoff/logon and restart events. There are no timers, the settings are stored as time intervals and is respected correctly.
Question: What, if any, controls are available in global or targeted settings on the Symantec Management Platform (SMP) server to control or disable this? I don’t see any.
Answer: Blockouts can be controlled centrally in the client policies and SMP side blockout period is stored the same way as agent side blockouts – in the registry and survive any logoff/shut down/ hibernation etc events.
Blockout from SMP side could be given from 1 minute up to 24 hours duration, starting from some given time. The blockout is a “day-based” it does not have a date options.
On SMP side go to Targeted settings -> blockout tab. There is a possibility to add blockouts. Two fields are available: Start time and Duration. Based on that data, the start time and end time are calculated later by agent when received.
At the same time we don't have way to disable blockout options on the client side. Also, no plans to change this in the near future.