AWS adds macOS instances to EC2

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Customers of AWS now have the option to use virtual macOS machines. Among other things, the machines can be used for the development of Xcode applications.

Since Apple does not sell any server hardware, Amazon makes use of Mac minis. The computers can integrate macOS 10.14 Mojave or 10.15 Catalina with AWS Nitro to collaborate with other AWS services such as S3, EBS and EFS.

Xcode

Amazon is marketing the macOS instances as a way to build, test, package and sign Xcode applications for the Apple platform, the company writes in a blog post. This includes applications for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS and Safari.

Related: Apple reveals first MacBooks and Mac mini with ARM chipset

Render farms

In addition to developing Apple apps, Amazon suggests that the instances can also be used to set up render farms, or farms for continuous integration or continuous delivery. The instances can be approached via SSH or VNC.

Specifications

The Mac minis are equipped with an Intel Core i7 8700B hexacore processor, 32GB of memory and a 10-gigabit network connection. The company plans to add instances with the new Apple M1 chip in 2021. That version will probably have no more than 16GB of ram and a gigabit connection, as those are the limits of the current M1 Mac mini.

Locations

The European macOS instances are based in Amazon server parks in Ireland. Outside Europe there are servers in the American states of North Virginia, Ohio and Oregon and the Asian market can connect to servers in Singapore.

Tip: AWS emphasises the importance of a Well Architected Framework