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Apple Developers Now Able to Natively Run macOS Within AWS With Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

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As AWS re:Invent kicks off, Amazon Web Services today announced new Mac instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, allowing AWS customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the AWS cloud for the first time.


Amazon says that the new feature extends the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers as those creating apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Safari are able to provision and access macOS environments within seconds and take advantage of the pay-as-you-go pricing of AWS.

AWS customers are also able to consolidate development of cross-platform Apple, Windows, and Android apps onto AWS, and as with other Amazon EC2 instances, customers can use EC2 Mac instances with AWS services and features like Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Amazon Elastic Block Storage, Amazon Machine Images, and more.

In a statement, Apple vice president of worldwide product marketing Bob Borchers said that Apple is "thrilled" to make development for Apple's platforms accessible "in new ways."
"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 vice president of EC2 at AWS David Brown said that developers can focus on creating apps rather than managing infrastructure.
"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."
The new EC2 Mac instances are powered by Intel-based Mac mini machines with 3.2GHz processors and 32GB RAM, along with the AWS Nitro System for 10Gb/s VPC network bandwidth and 8Gb/s storage bandwidth.

EC2 Mac instances can be purchased On-Demand or with Savings Plans and are available now in the US East (Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) regions.

Article Link: Apple Developers Now Able to Natively Run macOS Within AWS With Amazon EC2 Mac Instances
 
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RedTheReader

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Nov 18, 2019
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What about the end-user market for PC’s-in-the-cloud? Suppose someone has a specific Mac application they want (or need) to occasionally use. Given the choice, they may opt to just spin up a server whenever need be instead of purchasing a separate machine for that use. I don’t really understand this well enough to know if such a use-case is served on AWS though.

I’m sure it’ll be helpful to many people nonetheless. I’m surprised Apple opted to go this route.
 
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mannyvel

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Mar 16, 2019
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I actually have a jenkins user on my Mac Mini for builds and all the tools needed are local to that user (except xcode tools) so I can just tar up the folder and move it up to there. So convenient. Plus it makes pulling up jenkins nodes a lot easier.
 
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connormw

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Mar 24, 2018
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This will be useful. Sort of surprised apple let it happen
Apple said themselves they'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." - per the article.

It's in Apple's best interest to allow more devs access to command-line operations and dev tools.
 
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farewelwilliams

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pretty expensive for an indie developer. those are better off buying 1 Mac mini and colocating it using mac stadium or Mac mini colo.
 
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Stephen.R

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pretty expensive for an indie developer. those are better off buying 1 Mac mini and colocating it using mac stadium or Mac mini colo.
AWS has never been competitive on price. People think it is, but it isn't, if you need constantly running stuff. Also fyi Mac mini colo and Mac Stadium merged (or, maybe it was a buy out?) a couple of years ago, it's just Mac stadium now.
 
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abhibeckert

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pretty expensive for an indie developer. those are better off buying 1 Mac mini and colocating it using mac stadium or Mac mini colo.
Mac Stadium is $139 per month for an equivalent configuration (minimum one month). AWS is about $1 per hour (minimum one minute).

Sure if you're going to run it 24/7, then Mac Stadium is cheaper. But a lot of people only need a server temporarily.
 
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dguisinger

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Mac Stadium is $139 per month for an equivalent configuration (minimum one month). AWS is about $1 per hour (minimum one minute).

Sure if you're going to run it 24/7, then Mac Stadium is cheaper. But a lot of people only need a server temporarily.

Mac instances have a minimum of 24 hours.... that comes from the MacOS EULA.
 
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AxiomaticRubric

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AWS has never been competitive on price. People think it is, but it isn't, if you need constantly running stuff. Also fyi Mac mini colo and Mac Stadium merged (or, maybe it was a buy out?) a couple of years ago, it's just Mac stadium now.

AWS can be competitive but it requires being savvy with EC2 spot instances or reserved instances, or going all-in with a Lambda serverless application.

The ordinary on-demand EC2 instances are more appropriate for development and demo purposes (hence the higher costs).
 
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torncanvas

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It would be super useful to have a one-day Mac development script that spun up an instance with the most up to date xcode plus git preinstalled and pulled down your project for a remote dev session.

If you only needed to build one day every 2-3 weeks, that would absolutely be worth $24 per use.
 
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AxiomaticRubric

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Can someone explain what all this means? I’m interested in cloud computing.

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is Amazon’s on-demand virtual server environment.

Until now these rentable servers were devoted to Linux and Windows. Now we can get access to macOS EC2 instances. If you need macOS for a specific task but you can’t afford a physical Mac, this can be a viable option.

Keep in mind that EC2 isn’t ideal for a graphical user interface. Most compute tasks and other use cases (web server, application server, etc.) require secure command line access over SSH, and/or the AWS web console.
 
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