AWS has launched new virtual computing instances for software developers that run Apple’s MacOS OS, bringing macOS in the cloud for the first time.
No major cloud provider to date has brought about a means to rent a remote computing infrastructure with MacOS from their clouds. As a result, Amazon has an advantage that can attract customers to AWS, which is the main source of Amazon’s operating income.
Rather than run MacOS on its standard computer servers, AWS is drawing on Apple’s Mac Mini computers, featuring Intel Core i7 chips, to deliver Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) virtual-computing instances with MacOS.
The instances run on bare metal, meaning that a developer will get the full power of a Mac, rather than virtual machines, which deliver small virtual slices of physical computers. Instances of Mac Minis feature Apple’s M1 Arm-based chips will arrive in 2021.
Developers can use Amazon EC2 Mac instances to build, test, package, and sign Xcode applications for the Apple platform including macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Safari. The instances feature an 8th generation, 6-core Intel Core i7 (Coffee Lake) processor running at 3.2 GHz, with Turbo Boost up to 4.6 GHz.
Intuit, a major AWS customer, has started using the new Mac instances, and Amazon’s Ring subsidiary plans to use them. The instances are available from five of AWS’ 24 data centre regions located around the world, according to the statement.
Developers can start using Mac instances in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) Regions today.
AWS’ annual Reinvent conference, normally a gathering of customers, software makers and employees in Las Vegas, kicked off Monday as an online event because of the coronavirus pandemic.