Why do I get the following error messages in my Altiris Agent logs:
Process: AeXNSAgent.exe (1088)
Thread ID: 1168
Description: RequestPolicies failed: HTTP Request Failed: An operation on a socket could not be performed because the system lacked sufficient buffer space or because a queue was full. (-2147014841)
Also the handle counts for the Altiris Agent Service were very high.
This is the message that normally occurs when the Altiris Agent cannot contact a domain controller/DNS server to resolve the name of the Notification Server. This has been shown in some cases to point to a inconsistently behaving or non-functional domain controller/DNS server. High Altiris Agent handle counts in Process Explorer were also there due to the fact that, on the x86 W2K3 SP2 server. By default, Windows Server 2003 has by default 5000 ephemeral ports (a.k.a. dynamic ports). The default dynamic port range is 1024-5000. As the DNS/Domain Controller went down and it was unavailable, the Altiris Agent service (which had 6,000-8,000 handles open), which was trying to open a network connection every 15 minutes exhausted the ephemeral ports. Essentially, the AeXNSAgent.exe process experienced a condition that resulted in a complete depletion of the available TCP ports on the machine.
A simple restart of the Altiris Agent service on the affected machines will reset the port consumption. For server class machines, as a workaround, you can increased the amount of dynamic ports by changing the following registry key: