macOS Big Sur on AWS

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Are you the one who want to experience macOS before actually making a big decision of buying a expensive Mac for yourself? Then you are at right place at right time. AWS is offering full-fledge Mac Instance on cloud, that to with latest macOS Big Sur, Wow! This means that you can simple access the Mac like any other Virtual Machine and take full advantage of all Cloud offering as well. Let’s check it in detail, macOS Big Sur on AWS.

What is AWS

AWS or Amazon Web Services is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. In simple word, its cloud platform who take care of your infrastructure needs. This also covers it’s maintenance headache as well (including servers, DBs, patches, Security updates etc.). Thus you can solely focus on your Application or Software or System without worrying about underline infrastructure. There is more in every cloud platform apart from IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), like machine learning and artificial intelligence, data lakes and analytics and Internet of Things.

macOS on AWS

Previously, only Windows & Linux/Unix OS were provided on any cloud platform & AWS was no exception. But since Nov-2020, AWS officially started support for macOS with version Mojave (10.14), Catalina (10.15). Amazon EC2 Mac instances enable customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the cloud for the first time. Thus extending the flexibility, scalability and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers/users. 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).

Also Read

MacBook M1 : Using Swap memory from SSD

Benefits of macOS on AWS

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.

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.


AWS EC2 instance for mac is only available in two regions as of now, US East (Ohio) & Singapore. Out of these two, pricing for US instance is better as compared to Singapore instance. When you pay On-Demand, you pay for each second (min of 60 seconds) that the Dedicated Host is active in your account (or allocated). You can terminate billing for any particular On-Demand Dedicated Host by releasing it. On-Demand gives you the flexibility to scale up or down without long-term commitments.

As per AWS Site, EC2 instance in US Ohio costs $ 1.083 per hour, where as in Singapore it costs $ 1.354 per hour. This roughly translate as ₹ 75/- per hour in Indian rupees. On first glance this looks very attractive, i.e. to experience macOS with its top capacity i.e. 32 GB of RAM at only ₹ 75/- per hour, right!

But as per details on AWS site, it have a minimum host allocation and billing duration of 24 hours. This means that even if you just start your mac instance for few minutes testing, you need to pay for 24 hours, which is around ₹ 1,800/- INR (Taxes may be extra). For users who are just starting with development of iPhone or macOS apps can readily go for it as you are not paying for the full mac device in one go which normally costs around ₹ 1,00,000/- INR and still will only offer 8 GB of RAM. We are not talking about storage here as it depends on personal choice and usage pattern.

For average user also AWS instance with macOS will be good choice. If he/she is Ok to spend around ₹ 2,000/- for 24 hours to explore macOS, it can help him with his/her big purchase decision.

MacBook with M1 Processor

While we are talking about AWS MAC instances, we need to also note that these are available with Intel processors. In Nov-2020 Apple announced it’s own processor, the M1, which is a beast of its kind. You can check more about it on our previous article here.

MacBook Pro M1

MacBook Air M1

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