This reflects the growing popularity of the Mac platform, Mac cloud, and SaaS provider MacStadium’s Orca platform is now for sale on the AWS Marketplace, a move that brings Orka to Amazon EC2 Mac instances.
Mac my developers on
Orca workspace is a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution that delivers Mac desktops through the browser. Making this available through AWS should be a big boost for Mac teams already using hyperscale cloud providers for non-Mac development.
It follows VMware’s decision to discontinue support for Mac in its popular vSphere virtualization environment.
The technology provides a software layer that eliminates the demanding manual configuration and maintenance of repetitive processes.
This could be especially helpful for enterprise developers trying to build support for Macs through their own proprietary enterprise systems, given the rapid evolution of Macs in enterprise use.
It means they can access as much Mac power as they need to speed up tasks, without making huge investments in on-premises hardware that can sit idle most of the time.
What is the Orka platform?
Orka Platform enables enterprise-grade Mac development in virtualized environments. To achieve this, it uses Kubernetes to create a scalable macOS solution that allows developers to access virtual Macs when they need them.
It scales to handle everything from Xcode builds to fully integrated and complex CI/CD pipelines. The solution can handle continuous integration (CI) build-runners such as GitHub Actions, Jenkins, GitLab, TeamCity, and others.
With over 10 years of experience in Macs and servers, MacStadium also provides expert support for Orka Platform users.
- Virtual Macs managed through a CLI or API systems.
- Seamless automated CI/CD pipelines connecting to the most popular devops tools.
- Enterprise-grade, highly scalable performance.
- Simple orchestration via Orka Platform’s RESTful API.
- macOS orchestration and lifecycle management in a cloud environment on real Apple hardware.
“Orka Platform on AWS streamlines the build efforts of the iOS developers while delivering a seamless buying and billing process,” said Tom Schnell, MacStadium senior vice president and chief customer officer.
Life after vSphere
Orka is of particular interest in light of VMware’s recent decision to discontinue support for Mac platforms. Currently, vSphere ESXi 7.0.x from VMware is the latest release of the popular virtualization platform that would support Macs.
That left developers looking for a replacement, with MacStadium clearly intending Orka to be that replacement.
Earlier this month, the company announced a transition path from VMWare to Orka that replicates VMWare images to Orka. “Orka Platform is the perfect tool for application development teams that rely on using virtualized Mac computing and now need to transition from VMware,” said Greg McGraw, MacStadium co-founder and CEO on the transition path release. “MacStadium has already helped leading organizations transition seamlessly from VMware to the Orka Platform.”
MacStadium’s decision to partner with AWS to make Orka Workspace available to the developer community seems smart. AWS is already a go-to service for many developers, and the Amazon-owned service proves its worth; An Forrester report estimates that it helps developers save significant amounts of time and money.
The rapidly changing enterprise ecosystem
Both AWS and MacStadium now offer Macs as a service, with both Intel and Apple Silicon-based Mac minis available in the cloud.
While backward compatibility with older Mac operating systems such as Mojave and Monterey requires the use of Intel Macs, this has been changing rapidly since the debut of M1 (and now M2) Macs as the replacement cycle continues to accelerate.
MacStadium recently confirmed it plans to offer hosted M2 Mac mini instances through its service, and Amazon probably won’t be far behind.
“I’ve never been more optimistic about the Mac platform,” Chris Chapman, CTO of MacStadium, recently told me. “They’re becoming the de facto standard for laptop, desktop and phone and you’re really starting to see it becoming ubiquitous.”
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