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This Technet article speaks of Managed Service Accounts and their local equivalents called "Virtual Accounts".

I understand a "Virtual Account" is an account of the form "nt service\myservice" when used for a Windows service named myservice.

The article states that

Virtual accounts are "managed local accounts" that can use a computer's credentials to access network resources

which I understood to mean that if they access, for example, a SQL server, they would authenticate as the computer account, just like localsystem would. I.e. if my server is named Hubert in my domain Charlie and a service running on it uses an account nt service\myservice that service would authenticate as Charlie\Hubert$.

Alas, it authenticates (or tries to) as "anonymous".

Microsoft's documentation of this feature seems to be exceptionally bad and I cannot make heads or tails of it.

This MSDN article likewise speaks of virtual accounts:

If the default value is used for the service accounts during SQL Server setup on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7, a virtual account using the instance name as the service name is used, in the format NT SERVICE\. Services that run as virtual accounts access network resources by using the credentials of the computer account in the format \$.

Again it claims that such a virtual account would authenticate as the computer account but in my office domain and my home Windows Server 2008 R2 domain that is simply not true.

Any ideas? What am I understanding wrong?

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hmm works for me and I not sure where you see it trying access by anonymous? –  tony roth Nov 6 '12 at 17:33
    
The service that runs under the LMA runs a batch file that logs the output of sqlcmd. –  Andrew J. Brehm Nov 6 '12 at 18:15
    
On my home domain the service tries to connect to the SQL server and when running as localsystem succeeds and when running as nt service\myservicename fails. domain\computer$ has access hence localsystem works. –  Andrew J. Brehm Nov 6 '12 at 18:17
    
I was wrong anyway you are correct and I'm trying remember whats up with this? But I'm not having the same issue as you my service works fine as nt service\myservice it just looks like its anonymous access. But all the info is logged in the security logs. –  tony roth Nov 6 '12 at 18:19
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I was working on this serveral months ago and must have found the same issue and gave up on it (forgot that I'd given up on it). Could have sworn that I had a service doing this but nope! –  tony roth Nov 6 '12 at 18:57
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