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Package Servers and GetPackageInfo Request

Created: 02 Dec 2009 • Updated: 02 Dec 2009 • 2 comments
Ludovic Ferre's picture
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 I have worked hard yesterday on a Package Server and GetPackageInfo issues that hit my customers:

  • None of the 2,000 packages on 100 package servers showing as ready
  • On the Altiris Agent most SWD task show as retrying download

Case one was resolved after a couple of trial and error. Running the CheckSnapshots.exe from AKB #1492 was first returning warning messages on almost all entries in the SWDPackage table indicating that the DB package version was higher than that  on file (for which it couldn't do anything).

Processing the PS Capture event (scheduled tasks) would set the package not ready count to ~18,000 whilst refreshing the package snapshots would reset the not ready packages to 20,000.

In the end I renamed the Snapshot folder to SnapshotBAK under '%installpath%\Altiris\Notification Server". Immediately the snapshot xml files were recreated in a new folder named snapshot. running the CheckSnapshots again fixed the difference between package versions as recorded in the DB and on file (given the fast recreation I suspect the snapshots are kept in memory and there are some minor issues there). After that we could see ready package count going up, hopefully all will be in sync this morning!

On the package info request problem I spent a lot of time (on the phone and webex) as well as doing off site analysis. I can't quite comment on the overall issue (not really sure what to blame;) but here are some facts that would surely impress most NS users:

  • In 18 hours the NS recorded 760,000 requests on IIS log files
  • 160,000 plus request were sent to GetPackageInfo

No wonder why some computers where constantly getting Retrying download, albeit there are still some strange processing going on in the environment, specially related to Cisco Content Engines handling traffic to the NS That they shouldn't!

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Frank019's picture

Interessting problem you got there.

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Ludovic Ferre's picture

The GetPackageInfo problem only got more intriguing when looking at the IIS log files:

95% of the traffic comes from 7 ip addresses (out of 4,600 unique ip's talking to the NS), with one of them passing more than 150K requests to get "/Altiris/NS/Agent.GetPackageInfo.aspx".

Now as stated before we are in a CDN environment with Cisco Content engines all over the place. Web requests from all sites are proxied by the content-engine that in the end act as aggregators.

What's really worrying thou is that the server we worked on as ~10,000 managed computers (select count(*) from itemresource where ismanaged=1) reporting ~10,000 ip addresses (Inv_AeX_AC_Tcpip). Yet after shell processing the IIS log files and inserting them into a local instance of MySQL we found out that the main Content Engine brokered requests to this server from 14,000 different ip.

So we have a delta of 4,000 ip that do not belong to the server managed machines!

I am currently off-net, on a retreat of some kind. I'll be back real soon, and you sure will hear from me then ;-).

Ludovic FERRÉ
Principal Remote Product Specialist

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