The sql agent job runs under the NT SERVICE/InstanceName account.

Is the NT SERVICE domain private to the current computer or is it shared across all computers in the network?

2 Answers 2


NETWORK SERVICE and LocalSystem will authenticate themselves always as the correpsonding account locally (builtin\network service and builtin\system) but both will authenticate as the machine account remotely.

See this answer: https://stackoverflow.com/a/2806582


If you check the Managed Service Accounts, Group Managed Service Accounts, and Virtual Accounts doc, you'll see it's a virtual account:

  • Virtual Accounts

    Virtual accounts (beginning with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7) are managed local accounts that provide the following features to simplify service administration. The virtual account is auto-managed, and the virtual account can access the network in a domain environment. If the default value is used for the service accounts during SQL Server setup, a virtual account using the instance name as the service name is used, in the format NT SERVICE<SERVICENAME>. Services that run as virtual accounts access network resources by using the credentials of the computer account in the format <domain_name><computer_name>$. When specifying a virtual account to start SQL Server, leave the password blank.

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