Activation keys are tied to the MAC address(es) for the interface(s) for which you acquired the keys.
Since your VM machine and your net5501 have the different MAC addresses you will have an issue. I’m not a VM guru but if you can set the VM machine’s interfaces to the MAC addresses on the net5501 then I guess you could use the same keys. But you would have to have the net5501 in hand to get the values from it.
The keys are stored in the database and are persistent across reboot/power cycle events.