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Hyper-V, also known as Microsoft Hyper-V and previously known as Windows Server Virtualization, is a native hypervisor used for creating virtual machines on x86-64 systems running Windows. It is a type of server virtualization software developed by Microsoft that can effectively make a single physical server act like multiple servers.

Hyper-V was first released with Windows Server 2008 and since then it has been available on both standalone Windows Operating System and on Windows Server OS. It enables the hardware to be used by multiple operating systems and facilitates the isolation of each operating system from the others.

Virtualization through Hyper-V allows for better scalability, system reliability, and performance by isolating the software from the hardware resources. This ensures the uptime of applications in case of hardware failures. Hyper-V utilizes hardware-assisted virtualization which makes it possible for the whole system to utilize the same hardware while maintaining isolation of each virtual machine.

As a component of Microsoft Windows, Hyper-V allows the creation of virtual machines (VMs) on x86-64 based systems running Windows. The main purpose of Hyper-V is to provide the functionality of an operating system without requiring another actual operating system. It can manage things like memory, CPU, networking, and other crucial aspects of a virtual machine.

Hyper-V operates through either a standalone Hyper-V Server or a Windows Server machine with Hyper-V role enabled. The use of a standalone Hyper-V Server offers robust isolation between each virtual machine, even though they share the same hardware. It is important to note that Hyper-V is only available for specific versions of Windows, for instance, Windows 10 Enterprise, Pro, and Education.

Hyper-V provides numerous advantages such as flexibility, hardware independence, and reduced costs. With each virtual machine isolated from the others, a fault in one machine does not affect the others. Furthermore, they have independent operations, meaning the changes made in one virtual machine do not affect the others. With Hyper-V, IT administrators can increase server utilization, thus reducing costs. It significantly helps in limiting energy consumption by having fewer physical servers in the data center.

Interactive management and automation are key features introduced with Hyper-V. Microsoft provides a graphic user interface with Hyper-V Manager, along with Windows PowerShell for users who prefer commands. These tools enable the management of virtual machines effectively.

In summary, Hyper-V is a powerful tool by Microsoft that offers server virtualization, allowing multiple OS to coexist on the same hardware simultaneously, while entirely isolated from each other. This provides the benefits of increased hardware utilization, reduced costs, better server management, and improved business continuity.