AWS Launches EC2 Compute Instances Running Apple MacOS


Amazon’s cloud division announced early Tuesday the availability of new virtual compute instances for software developers running Apple’s macOS operating system, which represent an alternative to open source Microsoft Windows and Linux.
Amazon Web Services controls the cloud infrastructure market and has sought to stay ahead of Google and Microsoft in part by regularly adding to its large assortment of tools. No major cloud provider to date has implemented a way to lease remote IT infrastructure with MacOS from their clouds. As a result, at least as a first step, Amazon has an advantage that can draw customers to AWS, which is Amazon’s main source of operating profit.

Rather than running macOS on its standard computer servers, AWS relies on Apple’s Mac Mini computers, powered by Intel Core i7 chips, to deliver EC2 virtual compute instances with MacOS, according to a statement. The instances run on bare metal, which means a developer will get the full power of a Mac, rather than virtual machines, which provide small virtual slices of physical computers, a spokesperson told CNBC on Monday. . Mac Minis instances featuring chips based on Apple’s M1 Arm will arrive in 2021, AWS said in a blog post.

Developers can place early versions of their applications on the instances to run the necessary tests before deploying updates to end users. Instances provide a way to remotely use Mac-specific software, such as the Xcode Integrated Development Environment. Using Xcode, developers can download apps from the Apple App Store. Developers can also do this with existing Mac computers or by relying on Mac specialists such as MacStadium.

Intuit, a major customer of AWS, has started using the new Mac instances, and Amazon’s Ring subsidiary plans to use them. Instances are available in five of the 23 AWS data center regions located around the world, the release said.

Amazon and Apple have a close relationship. Apple’s iCloud services are built on AWS. Last year Apple spent over $ 30 million on AWS. The two companies began working closely on developing EC2 instances with MacOS about a year ago, Dave Brown, vice president of EC2, said in a press briefing. AWS purchases Mac Minis from Apple to provide the Mac instances, the spokesperson said.

AWS’s annual Reinvent Conference, normally a gathering of customers, software makers and employees in Las Vegas, kicked off as an online event on Monday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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