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reviewing the Agent Handler white paper it seems that only the MA 4.5 is able to maintain a failover list of agent handlers (one is the ePO server itself) so one AH is down it connects to the other. So it is very unlikely (but still might succeed, though) that if you shut down this AH, their agents will find the way back to the ePO server.
The agent population is decreasing.
At the moment it is at 64 managed agents.
I think it will take some time....