Error: Activation Failed

Several events can trigger an "Activation Failed" alert:

Activation Failed - 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.

Agent-initiated communication

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

When using Deep Security as a Service, agent-initiated communication is the recommended communication directionality.

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 and Create a firewall rule.)

Activation Failed - 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 are a Deep Security as a Service user or your computers are in cloud accounts, we recommend that you always use agent-initiated activation. Learn how to configure policy rules for agent-initiated communication and deploy agents using deployment scripts, see Use agent-initiated communication with cloud accounts.

Activation Failed - No agent/appliance

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

ReviewDeploy agents to your Amazon EC2 instances and WorkSpaces.

Activation Failed - 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] .......

...it 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
Agent-initiated communication Deep Security Agent / Ephemeral port Deep Security as a Service / 443
Manager-initiated communication Deep Security Manager or
Deep Security as a Service / 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, or Deep Security as a Service on 443.
  • Allow inbound access to Deep Security Agent on port 4118 if you're using Manager-initiated communication.

For details on ports, see Port numbers.