Amazon announces EC2 Mac mini instances for devs to use macOS in the cloud

Amazon announced that it is introducing EC2 Mac mini instances for its AWS which will allow developers to use macOS for development purposes. These Mac mini instances will allow developers to access AWS services such as Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Amazon Elastic Block Storage, Amazon Elastic Load Balancer, Amazon FSx, and AWS Systems Manager.

Amazon’s EC2 Mac mini instances let developers use macOS in the cloud

Developers can provision an EC2 Mac mini instance and start developing apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Safari. These instances can be scaled dynamically as required, and utilize on-demand pricing, which provides cost-effectiveness. Using an EC Mac mini instance means that you can leave the heavy lifting to AWS for things like networking configuration, security, hardware infrastructure, scaling and more, while you focus on building your products and services.

Users can easily set up a Mac mini instance in just a few minutes, access it via command line, and even use it as a remote desktop. This means that Windows developers can open up a Mac mini instance to compile their code, while they do the development in their local environment.

Apple’s vice president of worldwide product marketing Bob Borchers said that the company is thrilled with the introduction of EC2 Mac instances which could serve its community of 28 million developers.

“Apple’s thriving community of more than 28 million developers continues to create groundbreaking app experiences that delight customers around the world. With the launch of EC2 Mac instances, we’re thrilled to make development for Apple’s platforms accessible in new ways, and combine the performance and reliability of our world-class hardware with the scalability of AWS.”

Amazon’s vice president of EC2 David Brown said that their customers had been asking for Mac instances on AWS:

“Our customers tell us they would love to have their Apple build environment integrated with AWS services. With EC2 Mac instances, developers can now provision and access on-demand macOS compute environments in AWS for the first time ever, so they can focus on creating groundbreaking apps for Apple’s industry-leading platforms, rather than procuring and managing the underlying infrastructure.”

Currently, Amazon is offering Intel-based Mac mini with 8th Generation 3.2GHz (4.6GHz turbo) Intel Core i7 processors with 6 physical/12 logical cores, and 32GB RAM. They run in a Virtual Private Cloud, and connect to 10 Gbps network speeds, These Mac minis currently support macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina, and multiple instances can be configured to be used render farms or build farms

Amazon has announced that it is working on macOS Big Sur support, and will also be introducing EC2 Mac instances based on Apple Silicon M1 chip in 2021.

Here is an excerpt from Amazon’s announcement:

AMI Updates – We expect to make new AMIs available each time Apple releases major or minor versions of each supported OS. We also plan to produce AMIs with updated Amazon packages every quarter.

Dedicated Hosts – The instances are launched as EC2 Dedicated Hosts with a minimum tenancy of 24 hours. This is largely transparent to you, but it does mean that the instances cannot be used as part of an Auto Scaling Group.

Purchase Models – You can run Mac instances On-Demand and you can also purchase a Savings Plan.

Apple M1 Chip – EC2 Mac instances with the Apple M1 chip are already in the works, and planned for 2021.

The company has made a quirky little video for the announcement, check it out below:

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