Why do all VMs with installed agents show as 'Physical'

  • 12 May 2021
  • 2 replies

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We have both Azure and Hyper-V VMs.  The majority are backed up by the VSA agent in the Hypervisor, and have no installed agents.  However some have Windows File System, SQL Agent or Virtual Server agents installed.

For all those last, if I look at the client Properties there is a row that shows:

Client Properties

For any VM with no agents, that row just is not there.  I never found a VM where it says ‘Virtual’.  I should say that for a real physical server (which of course has to have an agent) it looks just like the above also.

What worries me most about this is that this may consume Operating Instance licences.  We have Commvault Complete and I can see we are using all our OI licences but a fraction of our Virtual OI licences.  But for example when we added a SQL*Server Availability Group across a pair of virtual SQL*Servers, we had to find an OI licence for it.

Is there are report that goes per-client and tells us exactly what licences it is relying on?  Is it right that our VMs show as ‘physical’ if they have an agent installed?




Best answer by Damian Andre 12 May 2021, 19:49

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If there is an agent installed the machine is considered a physical machine.  Virtual is not for Virtual machine, it stands for Virtual node of a clustered environment.  If you were to create a Windows cluster the clustered resource would report as Virtual. The License Summary report should explain what licenses the client is using.

Data Views for the License Summary Report (

Hopefully, this answers your question.




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Hey @William Brown 

This attribute predates virtualization completely (we are showing our age :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )

The physical/virtual property here relates to clusters. All machines are classified as physical in this sense, only virtual cluster instances are designated as virtual, which you would have when setting up a microsoft or linux cluster. Back in the day, it was an easy way to establish if you were selecting content from the virtual node (i.e shared drives) rather than the local machine. A bit confusing these days, for sure, but its been around for a long time. I think you are right though - this needs updating - it would make more sense to say “Standalone / Cluster virtual node” or something like that since virtual means something different these days.

Since ‘virtually discovered’ clients identified by the VSA have no agents/software on them, then its not possible for them to be a cluster host and the property is not displayed at all.

Machines that have an agent installed, albiet in ‘restore only’ do not consume licenses even though it may show the physical/virtual property - so I would not take that as an indicator of license consumption.


I am not a license guru but the license summary report should be able to list out everything and what is consuming which OI.

For physical machines:

For VMs:

Hope that helps, if not reply back and I can find a guru on the licensing front :muscle: ​​​​​​​