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Last year I have deployed a demo stand of AirWatch at one of the customers, and all went well, until they called a week later and said AirWatch has dropped dead. Well, life is life, nothing too unusual about AirWatch dropping dead from time to time, so I asked them to send in some logs, which they did not do. The customer was convinced it was something with their DB server, so they pleaded for me to come and just re-deploy everything on a fresh DB.

So I came by today and opened the logs first, and saw AWCM complaining like this:

Exception Details: An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host

This did not look like a database issue. But AWCM status/stats pages were working correctly. so I opened the Cloud Connector VM, and decided to reinstall. And when I went to Control Panel → Uninstall, it hit me in the eye: there was an antivirus in the list. It was not there, when I installed AirWatch, I was sure of it!

"Why, what's the problem?" - customer admins asked? - "Antivirus gets installed automatically by domain policy on all Windows machines, servers included". When I deployed AirWatch, the VMs were freshly-made, and the policy did not have time to work. But it did in a week of time. And when the anti-virus got there, first thing it saw was suspicious network activity of AirWatch, and blocked it. Then it saw a suspicious admin console on the AirWatch Admin Console role server - and blocked it. 

Needless to say, when the antivirus was uninstalled for the sake of the demo, AirWatch returned back to life the same instant, and that was a challenge solved.

Moral of the story: when doing test deployment of AirWatch or Horizon in a semi-production environment, always ask what kind of domain policies affect the domain server Windows OS, try to exclude the VMs during demo phase from all infrastructure security stuff. And better off - do demo environments in an isolated demo zone, and may the Digital Force always be with you!

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  1. Anonymous

    And here should be link to KB for exceptions needed for AirWatch to configure in antivirus (for full story...)

    1. Alex Rybalko AUTHOR

      Did not find such. Usually it is "put the c:\AirWatch folder in exceptions"