Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

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

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.

Powered by AWS Nitro System, EC2 Mac instances are built on Apple Mac mini computers featuring Intel Core i7 processors, and offer customers a choice of macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS Catalina (10.15), and macOS Big Sur (11.2.1). Access the Amazon EC2 Mac User Guide here.

Overview of Amazon EC2 Mac Instances (1:25)
Site-Merch_EC2-Mac_Editorial

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 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 great apps.

Reduce 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.

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

Built on Apple Mac hardware

Amazon EC2 Mac instances are built on Apple Mac mini computers, featuring 8th Generation 3.2GHz (4.6GHz turbo) Intel Core i7 processors with 6 physical/12 logical cores, and 32GiB of Memory.

Enabled by the AWS Nitro System

The AWS Nitro System is a rich collection of building blocks that offloads many of the 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 to provide 10 Gbps of VPC network bandwidth and 8 Gbps of EBS storage bandwidth.

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.

Product Details

Instance Size vCPU Memory (GiB) Instance Storage Network Bandwidth (Gbps) EBS Bandwidth (Mbps) EBS IOPS (16k block)
mac1.metal 12 32 EBS-Only 10 8,000 80,000

Pricing

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 without further commitment. With Savings Plans, you can save up to 44% off On Demand pricing with a 3-year commitment. Both Compute and Instance Savings Plans are available. For more information on Dedicated Hosts, please see the Dedicated Hosts product page. In addition to the table below, you can also access EC2 Mac pricing on the AWS Pricing Calculator for Dedicated Hosts.

  • North America (N. Virginia, Ohio, Oregon)
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore)
  • Europe (Dublin)
  • North America (N. Virginia, Ohio, Oregon)
  •     3-year term
    Purchase Option On-Demand Instance Savings Plan Compute Savings Plan
    Terms Pay-as-you-go All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront
    Price per Hour $1.083 $0.611 $0.650 $0.702 $0.764 $0.780 $0.842
    Savings over On-Demand N/A 44% 40% 35% 29% 28% 22%
        1-year term
    Purchase Option On-Demand Instance Savings Plan Compute Savings Plan
    Terms Pay-as-you-go All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront
    Price per Hour $1.083 $0.849 $0.867 $0.910 $1.019 $1.040 $1.083
    Savings over On-Demand N/A 22% 20% 16% 6% 4% 0%
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore)
  •     3-year term
    Purchase Option On-Demand Instance Savings Plan Compute Savings Plan
    Terms Pay-as-you-go All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront
    Price per Hour $1.354 $0.764 $0.812 $0.764 $0.955 $0.975 $1.053
    Savings over On-Demand N/A 44% 40% 35% 29% 28% 22%
        1-year term
    Purchase Option On-Demand Instance Savings Plan Compute Savings Plan
    Terms Pay-as-you-go All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront
    Price per Hour $1.354 $1.062 $1.083 $1.137 $1.274 $1.300 $1.354
    Savings over On-Demand N/A 22% 20% 16% 6% 4% 0%
  • Europe (Dublin)
  •     3-year term
    Purchase Option On-Demand Instance Savings Plan Compute Savings Plan
    Terms Pay-as-you-go All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront
    Price per Hour $1.207 $0.681 $0.724 $0.782 $0.852 $0.869 $0.939
    Savings over On-Demand N/A 44% 40% 35% 29% 28% 22%
        1-year term
    Purchase Option On-Demand Instance Savings Plan Compute Savings Plan
    Terms Pay-as-you-go All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront All Upfront Partial upfront No Upfront
    Price per Hour $1.207 $0.947 $0.996 $1.104 $1.136 $1.159 $1.207
    Savings over On-Demand N/A 22% 20% 16% 6% 4% 0%

Customers

Star Stable
“The Legends of Runeterra team was excited to take advantage of EC2 Mac instances to consolidate our entire build pipeline (Windows, Linux, and now macOS) on AWS . Our build pipeline currently supports ~100 builds per day, up to 3,000 builds per month, and our source control has over 270K commits to-date. Prior to migrating to EC2 Mac instances, our team had to spend time on managing on-premises Macs. Now, with EC2 Mac instances our build pipeline delivers a complete end-to-end cross-platform build process for Unity CI/CD in the AWS cloud. This has allowed our team of over one hundred talented engineers, artists, and designers to decrease development time and accelerate innovation for the games Riot players have come to know and love."

Guy Kisel, Staff Software Engineer, LoR, Riot Games

Flipboard_Logo
"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.

Intuit_Logo_innovators
"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.

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

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

FiLMiC_Logo-1-e1453250505701
“FiLMiC, Inc. is the creator of the award-winning mobile cinema camera app, FiLMiC Pro. With a global team of filmmakers, photographers, creatives and software developers who share the same passion for mobile cinema and content creation, FiLMiC has designed what has become the industry's most sought-after app that transforms a simple mobile device into a cinematic film camera. Amazon EC2 Mac instances give us the ability to scale up our continuous integration build farm in order to quickly go through development, testing and TestFlight stages. This leads to better velocity and more time working on the fun stuff.”

Seth Faxon, iOS Development Manager, FiLMiC

Ring Logo_Nash
“At Ring, we are committed to making home and neighborhood security accessible and effective for everyone while working hard to bring communities together. EC2 Mac instances will allow us to migrate our Apple build infrastructure to AWS, unlocking the scalability, reliability, security, and capabilities of AWS for all our Apple developers. These EC2 Mac instances will also let us quickly scale up our Mac build fleet whenever we need it, simplify cross-platform app development through consolidation on a single infrastructure provider, and ultimately accelerate innovations for thousands of our Apple customers.”

Joshua Roth, CTO

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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