Amazon Web Services has announced that it is offering what it calls bare-metal Macs in its cloud, although Amazon\u2019s definition of \u201cbare metal\u201d doesn\u2019t exactly jibe with the generally accepted definition.\n\u201cBare metal\u201d typically means no operating system. It\u2019s very popular as a means of what is known as \u201clift and shift,\u201d where a company takes its custom operating environment, starting with the operating system, libraries, apps, databases, and so on, and moves it from on-premises to the cloud without needing to make a modification to its software stack.\nHere, Amazon is offering Macs running macOS 10.14 (Mojave) or 10.15 (Catalina) on an eighth generation, six-core Intel Core i7 (Coffee Lake) processor running at 3.2 GHz. (Amusingly, the instances are run on Mac Minis. What I wouldn\u2019t give to see a data center with racks full of Mac Minis.)\nBut really, it\u2019s all they had to work with. The only other Macs are laptops, all-in-one desktops with an unnecessary monitor for cloud data centers, and the giant, overpriced Mac Pro. So this really was AWS\u2019s only option.\nEC2 Mac instances with the Apple M1 custom Arm chip are already in the works, and planned for 2021, according to a blog post by Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS.\nThe macOS EC2 instances are accessible over SSH shell or as a VNC remote desktop with up to 32GB of memory for access to AWS services. They are fairly limited in their offerings: you can access Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), AWS Systems Manager, and Amazon Machine Images.\nOn the networking side, the instances run in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and include ENA networking with up to 10Gbps of throughput. With EBS-Optimization, and the ability to deliver up to 55,000 IOPS (16KB block size) and 8Gbps of throughput for data transfer, EBS volumes attached to the instances can deliver the performance needed to support I\/O-intensive build operations.\nAWS is positioning the instances as a development environment for jobs like \u201cDeveloping, building, testing, and signing iOS, iPadOS, macOS, WatchOS, and tvOS applications on the Xcode IDE.\u201d So developers can build render farms or CI\/CD farms to offload the work from their systems.\nAmazon has not disclosed instance pricing yet, only saying that you can run Mac instances on-demand and you can also purchase a Savings Plan.