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Topic Title: about agent monitoring..
Topic Summary: agent monitoring
Created On: 06/16/2017 02:32 AM
Status: Read Only
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 06/16/2017 02:32 AM
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HeehangSeo
Student (5-19 posts)

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Joined: 11/06/2016

1. Is there a way to get an alert or an email or some form of information 
when the Agent is unresponsive or inactive?

2. How does the BPA Server work if the computer on which the agent resides is abnormally terminated while the agent is performing the task?
I would like to know if the task that the agent is performing will be executed again by another agent. And what happens to the queues on the Agent?

 06/16/2017 01:59 PM
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Justin Aucoin
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Joined: 02/15/2016

Hello,

You would need to create a workflow to monitor the agents in that manner.

-------------------------

Justin Aucoin | Support Analyst
AutoMate | Division of HelpSystems
HelpSystems, LLC | T: +1.213.738.1700 | F: +1.213.738.7665
 06/18/2017 06:34 PM
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HeehangSeo
Student (5-19 posts)

Posts: 13
Joined: 11/06/2016

Does the workflow you say speak a BPA workflow?

So how do i configure the workflow? Tell me more.

 

And please answer the second question.



Edited: 06/18/2017 at 06:40 PM by HeehangSeo
 06/19/2017 08:58 AM
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Mary Manzano
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Joined: 03/10/2014

Hello,

 

You can create a task to run every 5 minutes. For the step of the task add and if process BPA_TS.exe is not running then send email.



-------------------------
Mary Manzano | Technical Consultant
AutoMate | Division of HelpSystems
HelpSystems, LLC | T: +1.213.738.1700 | F: +1.213.738.7665
 06/19/2017 09:37 AM
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HeehangSeo
Student (5-19 posts)

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Joined: 11/06/2016

What I'm talking about is when the BPA Agent is unresponsive or dead.

 

By the way, what you are talking about seems to explain how to monitor agents other than the BPA Agent.

 

I am asking how the BPA Server knows what to do when the computer on which the BPA Agent is installed is stopped or down.

 06/21/2017 08:05 AM
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Leonard Amabile
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Heehang,

Currently, there is no functionality built into Automate Enterprise or AutoMate BPA Server that will notify if an agent is unresponsive or down. We are considering this in a future version.




-------------------------

Leonard Amabile | Director, Cross Platform Support
AutoMate | InterMapper | Skybot | Divisions of HelpSystems
T: +1.213.738.1700 | F: +1.213.738.7665
 06/22/2017 10:14 AM
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DavidSeibel
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I do this today by querying the REST API.  You can use the PowerShell module I wrote to easily query for offline agents:

Import-Module PoshBPA

Connect-BPAServer bpaserver01 -UserName MyUser -Password (ConvertTo-SecureString P@ssw0rd -AsPlainText -Force)

return (Get-BPAAgent | Where-Object {-not $_.Online})

You can embed this in a task using the PowerShell action, and it should return a dataset with any agents that are offline.  I have some extra steps in my script to PSRemote to the offline agent and restart the agent service.  This was also pretty easy to do.

This proved very useful after the agent crash issue introduced around 10.5.

 

 06/26/2017 08:46 AM
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Leonard Amabile
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Originally posted by: DavidSeibel

I do this today by querying the REST API.  You can use the PowerShell module I wrote to easily query for offline agents:




Import-Module PoshBPA




Connect-BPAServer bpaserver01 -UserName MyUser -Password (ConvertTo-SecureString P@ssw0rd -AsPlainText -Force)




return (Get-BPAAgent | Where-Object {-not $_.Online})




You can embed this in a task using the PowerShell action, and it should return a dataset with any agents that are offline.  I have some extra steps in my script to PSRemote to the offline agent and restart the agent service.  This was also pretty easy to do.




This proved very useful after the agent crash issue introduced around 10.5.




 



Hi David,

This is a great alternative!

The only issue is the dependence on at least one running agent to run the script.

-------------------------

Leonard Amabile | Director, Cross Platform Support
AutoMate | InterMapper | Skybot | Divisions of HelpSystems
T: +1.213.738.1700 | F: +1.213.738.7665
 06/27/2017 04:36 AM
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DavidSeibel
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Joined: 11/14/2014

Yes, I am fortunate in that I have a staging and a production environment.  So I have the staging environment monitor my prod agents, and vice versa.

On that note, I think the round-robin "Agent Group Distribution" option should take offline/disabled agents into account when determining which agent in the group to use.  Or there should be another option for "Run on online agents in a round-robin fashion".

Then, if this task was configured to run on a group that had multiple agents in it, as long as one of the agents in that group was online, this wouldn't be a problem.  Can you submit this as a feature request?

 06/30/2017 09:32 AM
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Ricardo Castaneda
HelpSystems

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Joined: 01/11/2008

Hi David,

Thank you for the feedback, I have gone ahead and added a feature request on your behalf 22877.

Thank you for the input.

-------------------------

Ricardo Castaneda | Principal Support Analyst
AutoMate | Division of HelpSystems
HelpSystems, LLC | T: +1.213.738.1700
 01/04/2018 12:44 PM
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DavidSeibel
Apprentice (20-49)

Posts: 42
Joined: 11/14/2014

I revisited this in my environment and thought I would share. I rewrote the task that I use for monitoring my agents to use the new JSON functionality in v11 to decode responses from the REST API. This way, there is no dependency on the PoshBPA module, and the embedded PowerShell script is gone.

Just read the comments in the task and plugin your own info.


Task Steps: (Right click, Select All, Copy to copy to the clipboard. Steps can then be pasted into the AutoMate Task Builder)
 01/11/2018 12:23 AM
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MatsBorg
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Joined: 05/29/2012

Thanks for sharing this David!

But I agree with the first poster that agent monitoring should be built into the server. We have this issue that agents sometimes loose connection and the service needs to be restarted. I would like to select which agents that are supposed to be running 24/7 and if those are offline or unresponsive then I would like to select to get an alarm and/or optionally force a service/agent restart on that machine.
 01/31/2018 12:07 AM
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PajJose
n00b (>6 posts)

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Joined: 10/12/2015

Is there any table in automate database that will notify on agent state?
 02/01/2018 06:18 AM
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Alex Escalante
HelpSystems

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Joined: 02/26/2014

Hello Paj,

Unfortunately there is no table that gives the agent state.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

-------------------------

Alex Escalante | Support Analyst
AutoMate | Division of HelpSystems
HelpSystems, LLC | T: +1.213.738.1700 | F: +1.213.738.7665
 02/26/2018 04:01 AM
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PajJose
n00b (>6 posts)

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Joined: 10/12/2015

I have noticed that in the event viewer, there are few entries logged during disconnections with Automate BPA & using those I have tried to restart agent service successfully. We have been having lot of issues related to woirkflows getting into queues & BPA becoming unresponsive specially during the critical time of processing. Hence I have created a workflow that will restart the BPA server as well as will restart BPA agent service on the clients using batch file. This is quite helpful as I dont have to physically go to the machines in order to restart the same. However I would appreciate if there is an easier way to identify the agent issues in BPA itself before we even wait for windows events.
 02/27/2018 09:12 AM
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DavidSeibel
Apprentice (20-49)

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Joined: 11/14/2014

Originally posted by: PajJose

I have noticed that in the event viewer, there are few entries logged during disconnections with Automate BPA & using those I have tried to restart agent service successfully. We have been having lot of issues related to woirkflows getting into queues & BPA becoming unresponsive specially during the critical time of processing. Hence I have created a workflow that will restart the BPA server as well as will restart BPA agent service on the clients using batch file. This is quite helpful as I dont have to physically go to the machines in order to restart the same. However I would appreciate if there is an easier way to identify the agent issues in BPA itself before we even wait for windows events.


If I were you I would be focusing on why things are queuing/performing poorly rather than just restarting the service when it happens.
 02/27/2018 10:56 AM
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DaniJin
n00b (>6 posts)

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Joined: 02/26/2018

I agree with David, finding out why the agent pcs are crapping out its much better approach than band-aid fix by reboot or try again, however, this is automate we are talking about ... tonnes of bugs and it craps out without reasons or logic. Therefore reboot and re-try is necessary

So the way we handle it is very simple and robust. (We got ~50 agent pcs processing ~40k accounts each day, ~ 1-1.5min per account so no time to go thru whether its a corrupted account or debug in the source code) Our BPA 10 is connected to a SQL server, with each agent pc has a fingerprint stamp and time stamp in the database whenever an account is done processing. So if an agent PC doesn't finish an account in 5 mins, it will close the session and re-try, after 3 re-tries SQL server will place the account on hold for a real person to inspect the account later, and agent pc can continue off with another account. If the agent pc is not responsive (meaning no feed back to the SQL server claiming its still alive) the SQL server will trigger a reboot for that agent PC.
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