Error: Activation Failed

Several events can trigger an "Activation Failed" alert:

Protocol Error

This error typically occurs when you use Deep Security Manager to attempt to activate a Deep Security Agent and the manager is unable to communicate with the agent. The communication directionality that the agent uses determines the method that you should use to troubleshoot this error. (See Agent-manager communication.)

Agent-initiated communication

When the agent uses agent-initiated communication, you need to activate the agent from the agent computer. (See Activate Deep Security Agent.)

Ensure that the console allows agent-initiated activation by going to Administration > System Settings > Agent and selecting Allow Agent-Initiated Activation.

Bidirectional communication

Use the following troubleshooting steps when the error occurs and the agent uses bidirectional communication:

  1. Ensure that the agent is installed on the computer and that the agent is running.
  2. Ensure that the ports are open between the manager and the agent. (See Port numbers, URLs, and IP addresses and Create a firewall rule.)

Unable to resolve hostname

The error: Activation Failed (Unable to resolve hostname) could be the result of an unresolvable hostname in DNS or of activating the agent from Deep Security Manager when you are not using agent-initiated activation.

If your agent is in bidirectional or manager-initiated mode, your hostname must be resolvable in DNS. Check the DNS on your Deep Security Manager to ensure it can resolve your hosts.

If you your computers are in cloud accounts, we recommend that you always use agent-initiated activation. To learn how to configure policy rules for agent-initiated communication and deploy agents using deployment scripts, see Activate and protect agents using agent-initiated activation and communication.

No agent/appliance

This error message indicates that the agent software has not been installed on the computer that you would like to protect.

Review Get Deep Security Agent software.

Blocked port

If you are seeing 'Activation Failed' events with the following error messages in the ds_agent.log:

• 2018-06-25 17:52:14.000000: [Error/1] | CHTTPServer::AcceptSSL(<IP>:<PORT>) - BIO_do_handshake() failed - peer closed connection. | http\HTTPServer.cpp:246:DsaCore::CHTTPServer::AcceptSSL | 1E80:1FEC:ActivateThread

• 2018-06-25 17:52:14.143355: [dsa.Heartbeat/5] | Unable to reach a manager. | .\dsa\Heartbeat.lua:149:(null) | 1E80:1FEC:ActivateThread

• 2018-06-25 17:52:14.000000: [Info/5] | AgentEvent 4012 | common\DomainPrivate.cpp:493:DsaCore::DomPrivateData::AgentEventWriteHaveLock | 1E80:1FEC:ActivateThread

• 2018-06-25 17:52:14.143355: [Cmd/5] | Respond() - sending status line of 'HTTP/1.1 400 OK' | http\HTTPServer.cpp:369:DsaCore::CHTTPServer::Respond | 1E80:1D7C:ConnectionHandlerPool_0011

...and the following messages in your packet capture software (pcap):

• [TCP Retransmission] <Ephemeral Port> -> 443 [SYN, ECN, CWR] .......

• [TCP Retransmission] <Ephemeral Port> -> 443 [SYN] ....... may be because you have blocked a port used by the Deep Security Agents and manager to establish communication. agent-manager communication ports could be any of the following:

Agent-manager communication type Source / Port Destination / Port
Agent-initiated communication Deep Security Agent / Ephemeral port Manager / 4119
Manager-initiated communication Deep Security Manager / Ephemeral port Agent / 4118

As you can see from the table above, ephemeral ports are used for the source port for outbound communication between agent and manager. If those are blocked, then the agent can't be activated and heartbeats won't work. The same problems arise if any of the destination ports are blocked.

To resolve this issue:

  • Remove restrictions on client outbound ports (ephemeral) in your network configuration.
  • Allow access to Deep Security Manager on port 4119.
  • Allow inbound access to Deep Security Agent on port 4118 if you're using Manager-initiated communication.

For details on ports, see Port numbers, URLs, and IP addresses.

Duplicate Computer

This error typically occurs when you activate a computer using a name that already exists, or a computer that is already active in a different connector.

To resolve this issue you can use one of the following methods:

  • Remove one of the duplicate computers and reactivate the remaining computer if necessary.
  • From the Deep Security Manager, go to Administration > System Settings > Agents and select your preferences for agent-initiated activation. If a computer with the same name already exists, there are options to re-activate the existing computer, activate a new computer with the same name, or not allow activation. For more details, see Agent-initiated activation (AIA).

Endpoint behind proxy

If you are using a proxy, in the Deep Security Manager go to Support > Deployment Scripts and update the fields with your proxy, then reactivate the agent. For more information, see Use deployment scripts to add and protect computers.

Reinstallation required

If Deep Security Agent is not activating, you may need to Uninstall Deep Security Agent, then reinstall Deep Security Agent.