Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Introducing Apple Silicon M2 Pro Mac Mini

New Apple Silicon M2 Pro Mac Mini Computer Amazon EC2 M2 Pro Mac Instances

When  building and testing Apple apps, these instances perform 35% quicker than M1 Mac instances.

The AWS Nitro System uniquely enables Apple M2 Pro Mac Mini computers with 12 core CPU, 19 core GPU, 32 GiB of memory, and 16 core Apple Neural Engine to function as fully integrated and managed compute instances with up to 10 Gbps of Amazon VPC network bandwidth and 8 Gbps of Amazon EBS storage bandwidth. AMIs for EC2 M2 Pro Mac instances support macOS Ventura 13.2 or later.

Story of EC2 Mac Instances

In 2020, Jeff Barr stunned consumers by introducing Amazon EC2 Mac Instances, which allowed them to build, test, package, and sign Xcode developed apps for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watch OS.

In his keynote at AWS re:Invent 2020, Peter DeSantis revealed how to build EC2 Mac instances powered by the AWS Nitro System, which allows Apple Mac mini computers to be fully integrated and managed with Amazon VPC networking and Amazon EBS storage like other EC2 instances.

We didn’t need to modify Mac hardware. We used Thunderbolt to connect a Nitro controller to the Mac. Launching a Mac instance runs your Mac compatible Amazon Machine Image (AMI) on the Mac Mini without a hypervisor. The Nitro controller configures the instance and secures network and storage access. The Mac Mini can now use any AWS service natively.”

Amazon EC2 M1 Mac Instances using the Apple designed M1 System on Chip debuted in July 2022. Developers designing iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV apps can choose x86 or Arm based EC2 Mac or M1 instances.

To re architect your apps to natively support Macs with Apple Silicon, use EC2 M1 instances to build and test your apps to give up to 60% better price performance than EC2 Mac instances for iPhone and Mac app construction workloads with all the benefits of AWS.

Many users use EC2 Mac instances to establish an end to end macOS pipeline on AWS. EC2 Mac instances let them scale their iOS build fleet, use custom macOS environments with AMIs, and debug build or test failures using fully reproducible macOS environments.

Customers have reported up to 4x build time reduction, 3x parallel build increase, 80% reduction in machine-related build failures, and 50% fleet size reduction. They may focus on product and feature innovation while reducing the hassle of managing on-premises macOS infrastructure.

To accelerate this innovation, EC2 Mac instances now support replacing root volumes on running instances, allowing you to restore the instance’s root volume to its launch state or a snapshot without stopping or terminating the instance.

EC2 M1 Mac instances registered with the Apple Developer Programme can receive in-place OS updates from the guest environment to the latest macOS version, even the beta version. Developers can now add new macOS features and test apps for compatibility before public releases.

Starting EC2 M2 Pro Instances

EC2 M2 Pro Mac instances offer Dedicated Host tenancy with a 24 hour host allocation length to comply with macOS licencing, like regular EC2 Mac instances.

EC2 M2 Pro
image credit to AWS News Blog

In your AWS account, assign a Mac dedicated host, a real server for your use. You can launch, stop, and relaunch one macOS instance on a dedicated host after allocating it.

Mac mini computers
image credit to AWS News Blog

You can start an EC2 Mac instance on the allotted host. This is the same as launching any EC2 instance type. Select the mac m2 pro.metal instance type in Application and OS Images for your macOS AMI version.

Select Dedicated host in Tenancy and a newly built dedicated host in Tenancy host ID in Advanced information.

For your initial EC2 Mac instance, you can use SSH or Apple Remote Desktop to start a VNC session. Sebastien’s Mac instance startup and connection articles explain more.

You can stop your Mac instance and release the host when you no longer require it. Apple’s macOS licencing requires that Mac dedicated hosts be relinquished after 24 hours.

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