Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

Develop, build, test, and sign Apple apps on Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Mac instances enable customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the cloud for the first time, extending the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers. With EC2 Mac instances, developers creating apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Safari can provision and access macOS environments within minutes, dynamically scale capacity as needed, and benefit from AWS’s pay-as-you-go pricing.

x86-based EC2 Mac instances are built on Apple Mac mini computers featuring Intel Core i7 processors and are powered by the AWS Nitro System. They offer customers a choice of macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Big Sur (11), and macOS Monterey (12) as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). Learn more and get started with x86-based EC2 Mac instances here.

EC2 M1 Mac instances (now in preview) are built on Apple M1 Mac mini computers and are powered by the AWS Nitro System. They deliver up to 60% better price performance over x86-based EC2 Mac instances for iOS and macOS application build workloads. EC2 M1 Mac instances enable ARM64 macOS environments for the first time in AWS, and support macOS Big Sur (11) and macOS Monterey (12) as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). Request access for the preview.

Mac processor

Amazon EC2 M1 Mac instances (now in preview) deliver up to 60% better price performance over x86-based EC2 Mac instances for iOS and macOS application build workloads. Request access for the preview.

Overview of Amazon EC2 Mac Instances (1:25)

Benefits

Quickly provision macOS environments

Time and resources previously spent building and maintaining on premises macOS environments can now be refocused on building creative and useful apps. Development teams can now seamlessly provision and access macOS compute environments on-demand to enjoy convenient, distributed testing and fast app builds, bringing additional choice to developers so they can use Mac as their trusted platform, on premises or in the cloud. EC2 Mac instances offload the heavy lifting that comes with managing infrastructure to AWS, which means Apple developers can focus entirely on building their applications.

Reduced costs

EC2 Mac instances allow developers to launch macOS environments within minutes, adjust provisioned capacity as needed, and only pay for actual usage with AWS’s pay-as-you-go pricing. Developers save money since they only need to pay for the systems that are in use. For example, more capacity can be used when building an app, and less capacity when testing.

Simplify rearchitecting, building, and testing for Apple silicon

EC2 M1 Mac instances, now in preview, enable Apple silicon and native ARM64 macOS environments for the first time in AWS to develop, build, test, deploy, and run Apple applications. Developers rearchitecting their macOS applications to natively support ARM64 architecture for Apple silicon Macs can now enjoy faster builds with bare metal performance, and convenient distributed testing without having to procure, install, manage, patch, and upgrade physical Apple silicon infrastructure.

Extend your toolkits

EC2 Mac instances provide developers with seamless access to dozens of AWS services so they can more easily and efficiently collaborate with team members, and develop, build, test, analyze, and improve their apps. Similar to other EC2 instances, customers can easily use EC2 Mac instances together with AWS services and features like Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for network security, Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) for expandable storage, Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) for distributing build queues, Amazon FSx for scalable file storage, and AWS Systems Manager (SSM) for configuring, managing, and patching macOS environments.

Features

Choice of Apple Mac hardware

Amazon EC2 Mac instances support multiple Apple Mac computers to address diverse use-cases and requirements. Our x86-based EC2 Mac instances are built on Apple’s Mac mini computers, featuring 8th Generation 3.2 GHz (4.6 GHz turbo) Intel Core i7 processors with six physical/twelve logical cores, and 32 GiB of memory. EC2 M1 Mac instances (now in preview) are built on Apple M1 Mac mini computers featuring an M1 chip with 8 CPU cores, 8 GPU cores, 16 GiB of memory, and a 16core Apple Neural Engine.

Scaled on highly reliable infrastructure

EC2 Mac instances are designed so that customers can build critical applications with confidence. AWS has the most secure, extensive, and reliable global infrastructure for running workloads that require high availability, and is recognized as an industry leader for uptime standards. EC2 Mac instances enable your macOS workloads to benefit from the scale, elasticity, reliability, and experience that AWS’s secure, on-demand infrastructure has offered to millions of customers for more than a decade.

Enabled by the AWS Nitro System

The AWS Nitro System is a rich collection of building blocks that offloads many traditional software-defined functions to dedicated hardware and software to deliver high performance, high availability, and high security. Amazon EC2 Mac instances are uniquely enabled by the AWS Nitro System, which makes it possible to offer Mac mini computers as fully integrated and managed EC2 instances, providing 10 Gbps of Amazon VPC network bandwidth and 8 Gbps of Amazon EBS storage bandwidth.

Product Details

  • x86-based EC2 Mac Instances
  • EC2 M1 Mac instances (now in preview)
  • x86-based EC2 Mac Instances
  • x86-based EC2 Mac instances are powered by a combination of Mac mini computers—featuring Intel’s 8th generation 3.2 GHz (4.6 GHz turbo) Core i7 processors, 6 physical/12 logical cores, and 32 GiB of memory - and the AWS Nitro System, providing up to 10 Gbps of VPC network bandwidth and 8 Gbps of EBS storage bandwidth through high-speed Thunderbolt 3 connections. x86-based EC2 Mac instances are uniquely enabled by the AWS Nitro System, which makes it possible to offer Mac mini computers as a fully integrated and managed compute instances with Amazon VPC networking and Amazon EBS storage just like any other Amazon EC2 instance. EC2 Mac instances are available in bare metal instance size (mac1.metal), and support macOS Mojave 10.14, macOS Catalina 10.15, macOS Big Sur 11, and macOS Monterey 12 as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).

    Instance Family  Instance Size Processor Physical cores vCPUs Memory (GiB) Instance Storage Network Bandwidth (Gbps) EBS Bandwidth (Mbps)
    Mac1 mac1.metal Intel Core i7 6 12 32 EBS-Only 10 8,000
  • EC2 M1 Mac instances (now in preview)
  • EC2 M1 Mac instances are powered by a combination of Apple silicon Mac mini computers—featuring the M1 chip with 8 CPU cores, 8 GPU cores, 16 GiB of memory, 16 core Apple Neural Engine—and the AWS Nitro System, providing up to 10 Gbps of VPC network bandwidth and 8 Gbps of EBS storage bandwidth through high speed Thunderbolt connections. EC2 M1 Mac instances are uniquely enabled by the AWS Nitro System, which makes it possible to offer Mac mini computers as a fully integrated and managed compute instances with Amazon VPC networking and Amazon EBS storage just like any other Amazon EC2 instance. EC2 M1 Mac instances support both macOS Big Sur 11 and macOS Monterey 12 as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).

    Instance Family  Instance Size Processor Physical cores vCPUs Memory (GiB) Instance Storage Network Bandwidth (Gbps) EBS Bandwidth (Mbps)
    Mac2 mac2.metal Apple M1 4 performance +4 efficiency cores 12 16 EBS-Only 10 8,000

Pricing

Amazon EC2 Mac instances are available for purchase as Dedicated Hosts through On Demand and Savings Plans pricing models. Billing for EC2 Mac instances is per second with a 24-hour minimum allocation period to comply with the Apple macOS Software License Agreement. Through On Demand, you can launch an EC2 Mac host and be up and running within minutes. At the end of the 24-hour minimum allocation period, the host can be released at any time with no further commitment. With both Compute and Instance Savings Plans available, you can save up to 44% off On Demand pricing with a three-year commitment. For more information on Dedicated Hosts and complete pricing information, please see the Dedicated Hosts product page. You can also access EC2 Mac pricing on the AWS Pricing Calculator for Dedicated Hosts.

Customers

Pinterest
“Before EC2 Mac, physically procuring and managing our Mac build infrastructure was challenging, and our output was limited by the available physical machines. Now with EC2 Mac instances, we can scale our iOS build fleet, easily bake, roll back, and roll forward custom macOS environments with AMIs, and debug any build or test failures with fully reproducible macOS environments. We have also modernized our iOS development pipeline by integrating with multiple AWS services such as IAM roles and policies to provide least privilege access, Secrets Manager to centralize macOS authentication, AWS Lambda and Amazon SNS to create Auto Scaling groups, and CloudWatch to give us centralized monitoring. Today, 100% of our production builds are running on EC2 Mac - our builds are 18.4% faster and 80.5% more reliable - and our iOS developers love it!”

Oliver Koos, Senior Software Engineer, Pinterest

How Pinterest Modernized iOS Build Infrastructure with Amazon EC2 Mac Instances (40:34)
twitch
"Before updating to EC2 Mac instances, we didn't have immediate access or a reliable SLA for our on-premises Mac machines— it could take days to get an offline build agent investigated or more capacity added. Whenever we wanted to upgrade Xcode, we had to download and install it one machine at a time which took us hours. Additionally, access and security credentials had to be managed per on-premises machine. Now with EC2 Mac instances, I can spin up a new virtual machine in minutes, improve security by using EC2 Instance Profiles, and create, test, and roll-out a new Xcode AMI across all of our build agents 4x faster. To top it all off - EC2 Mac instances are more powerful than the on-premises build agents we used to have and the network interconnect is faster as well. These speed improvements enabled us to reduce our macOS fleet size by 50%."

Heath Borders, Senior Mobile Engineer, Twitch

The Pokemon Company
“At The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan that manages the property outside of Asia, we migrated our entire client build farm and Unity CI/CD to EC2 Mac instances to consolidate our build pipeline, take advantage of build automation, leverage CI/CD tooling such as Jenkins and TeamCity, and speed up build times. With the on-demand EC2 Mac instances, we are able to more effectively scale and support automated testing of our products. After migrating our Unity CI/CD from a third-party provider to EC2 Mac, we were thrilled that our Unity builds are 400 percent faster.”

Carla Dreyer, Senior Manager of DevOps Engineering, The Pokémon Company International

Jamcity logo
“Jam City creates mobile games where having an efficient build process is vital to the success of our company. Previously, we had a game build process split between a third-party provider and on premises physical machines which did not allow us to be as agile as we would have wanted. With the migration to EC2 Mac instances, our build process for Unity CI/CD is now 100% in the AWS Cloud. Doing so reduced complexity, allowed us to scale our Mac fleet whenever we needed, and provided us full control over our builds across operating systems. Now, our developers can focus on what they love - creating more innovative games for our players.”

Nevin Vorfeld, Central Services Platform Manager, Jam City

circleci
“CircleCI is a central hub for developers to seamlessly take ideas to execution at scale through our industry-leading CI/CD platform. As a developer-first organization, we were thrilled when EC2 Mac was released. EC2 Mac instances allow us to redirect time and engineering effort from maintaining our datacenter into improving the CI/CD experience for Apple developers. By taking advantage of the integration with other AWS services, we can more easily build out the top requested features including expanded storage, customized images, and more. We’re excited to continue expanding our partnership with AWS to better meet the needs of our premium customers!”

Alexa Zeazas Loper, Product Manager CircleCI

Intuit
"Intuit is a mission-driven, global financial platform company. Its products - including TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint - are designed to empower more than 50 million consumer, small business and self-employed customers around the world to improve their financial lives. EC2 Mac instances, with their familiar EC2 interfaces and APIs, have enabled us to seamlessly migrate our existing iOS and macOS build-and-test pipelines to AWS, altogether improving developer productivity. We’re experiencing up to 30 percent better performance over our data center infrastructure, thanks to elastic capacity expansion, and a high availability setup leveraging multiple zones. We’re now running around 80 percent of our production builds on EC2 Mac instances, and are excited to see what the future holds for AWS innovation in this space."

Pratik Wadher, VP of Product Development, Intuit

Intuit and Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

Listen to Pratik Wadher, the VP of Product Development at Intuit, describe how and why Intuit is using Amazon EC2 Mac instances.

NBCUniversal
"At NBC Universal (NBCU), our team manages web portals and streaming websites. We support many apps that we wanted to modernize, but couldn’t with prior available options. Now with EC2 Mac instances we were able to quickly initiate a proof-of-concept, conduct a production pilot, and seamlessly migrate our full fleet, including our iOS and tvOS builds, from CircleCI to EC2 within 2 days, to modernize our DevOps and application development.”

Chiranjeevi Chakka, Director of Technology, NBCU

Star Stable
“We have been very happy using AWS services, so when AWS released Amazon EC2 Mac Instances, we realized we could use them for our build-and-test pipelines and immediately reached out to adopt them. Once we had the Amazon EC2 Mac Instances running, we migrated basically all our builds in about 2 weeks. The first comment we got from the development team was that this was the first time our Mac builds were faster than the ones for PC. Over the course of 1 year, we doubled the number of concurrent players and increased our player base by 39 percent; improving the game quickly wouldn’t have been possible without Amazon EC2 Mac Instances and on-demand scaling. It’s easy to see why it was a good decision.”

Martin Blomgren, Head of Operations, Star Stable Entertainment

Flipboard
"Flipboard is an award-winning app that curates news and information for millions of customers in a user-friendly magazine format.  We recently started using Amazon EC2 instances for our iOS build machines for tasks such as daily betas, App Store builds and submissions, and UI testing. We were able to easily migrate from our previous solution to EC2 Mac instances in three days including software installation, VNC sessions, accounts created, and moving all of our Jenkins jobs. The setup has been very reliable, and we also enjoy the flexibility to use either command line or screen sharing. Build times have reduced from 20 minutes to 5 minutes. UI automation tests that used to take 3 hours now take less than 1 hour. Download speeds are amazing, and the VNC sessions are as smooth as butter. Needless to say, this project was a huge success and we are super happy with the finished results.”

Colin Caufield, Lead iOS Engineer, Flipboard

AWS Summit 2021: Flipboard and Amazon EC2 Mac instances (05:16)

During the May 2021 America's AWS Summit, Flipboard's lead iOS engineer talks about his team's experience migrating to Amazon EC2 instances.

DeNa
“DeNA aims to entertain and to serve through our businesses, under our mission to delight people beyond their wildest dreams. DeNA's major business areas are in mobile games, sports, live streaming, healthcare, and automotive. SWET (SoftWare Engineer in Test) team is part of the DeNA Quality Control Department and offers automated test development and implementation support. We have been using on-prem Mac computers and Mac-aaS providers including MacStadium for our game distribution builds. The management and operation of physical Macs is expensive, and additionally, we found ourselves looking for on-demand access to Mac computers with richer features and capabilities. During our evaluation of EC2 Mac instances, we were delighted by a simple Jenkins CI/CD integration, ease of leveraging custom macOS images, and the ability to scale our capacity on-demand - allowing us to decrease build times and increase the number of concurrent builds we can support. We look forward to EC2 Mac instances helping us to improve our quality and productivity, so we can deliver on our vision to make testing fun, smart, and delightful for end-users.”

Hisashi Iguchi, CI/CD Engineer, SWET, Quality Control Department, DeNA

MPL
"Mobile Premier League (MPL) is an online gaming platform that offers 60+ exciting games, such as Fantasy Cricket, Match 3, Spider Solitaire, Bubble Shooter, Baseball Star, Bowling, 8 Ball Pool, and more. Our DevOps & Reliability Engineering team used to run all their builds with on-premises Macs and Jenkins integration. Hardware problems and sluggish manual builds consumed our iOS developers’ time, delaying both iOS app builds and testing cycles by QA Engineers. Following a private beta preview and EC2 Mac POC with Jenkins CI/CD integration, we migrated builds of all our games to EC2 Mac instances. Now, we are able run up to 3x more parallel build jobs with each parallel build running 5-10% faster than a single on-premises build, fully removing the previous iOS development and QA bottleneck we had. As a result of the overall app development modernization in the AWS cloud with EC2 Mac instances, we enjoy full iOS build automation, high availability, ease of access, and better build performance.“

Ashesh Nishant, Head Of Technology, MPL

Applitools
“We were seeking an infrastructure capable of hyper-growth and scale so were thrilled when we heard that AWS is now offering macOS-based EC2 instances. We are delighted with the performance of our new, native-mobile, Visual AI-powered test cloud running on Amazon's EC2 Mac instances.”

Adam Carmi, CTO and co-founder, Applitools

Partners

teradici
“As an Apple developer, you can now for the first time remotely access your Mac through the AWS Cloud with the performance and color fidelity needed to develop digital content. Going hybrid has never been this easy – simply access a high-performance remote developer desktop by deploying Teradici CAS (Cloud Access Software) for macOS on your Amazon EC2 Mac instance. EC2 Mac instances with Teradici CAS enable you to work from anywhere, using the device and OS of your choice.”

Ziad Lammam, Global Head of Teradici Product Management, HP

Buildkite
“Buildkite is a CI/CD platform that helps teams create fast and reliable build pipelines. The introduction of Amazon EC2 Mac instances has allowed us to quickly integrate native macOS environment support into our open source CI/CD stacks for AWS. Our open source product, the Buildkite Elastic CI Stack for EC2 Mac, gives teams secure and scalable build pipelines for their mobile applications by taking advantage of Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling and AWS IAM permission support available with EC2 Mac. We are excited to provide built-in support for Amazon EC2 Mac instances, and the possibilities this creates for making iOS and macOS development faster and more streamlined for everyone.”

Tim Lucas, Founder and co-CEO, Buildkite

Center for Internet Security
“Center of Internet Security (CIS) Hardened Images are built to CIS Benchmarks that include more than 100 configuration guidelines across 25+ vendor product families. We are excited to partner with AWS and serve Apple developers needing to build applications for highly regulated industries. With the addition of Apple macOS, CIS will offer image hardening and allow setting up a secure development and production environment for the three most popular operating systems within the AWS cloud.”

Curtis Dukes, CIS Executive Vice President and General Manager, Security Best Practices, CIS

Resources

Amazon EC2 Mac Instances Tech Tutorials - Part 1 - Getting Started (7:40)
Amazon EC2 Mac Instances Tech Tutorials - Part 2 - How to Use Block and File Storage (7:32)
Amazon EC2 Mac Instances Tech Tutorials - Part 3 - macOS Workers with Kubernetes and Jenkins (5:03)
Amazon EC2 Mac Instances now support macOS Big Sur
February 23rd, 2021

Read more »

Integrating EC2 macOS workers with EKS and Jenkins
December 23rd, 2020

Read more »

Announcing Amazon EC2 Mac instances for macOS
November 30th, 2020

Read more »

Use Amazon EC2 Mac Instances to Build & Test macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS Apps
November 30th, 2020

Read more »

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