CI/CD Platform Provider CircleCI Adds 'Dedicated Hosts' for Mac Developers

CI/CD platform provider CircleCI today announced enhanced support for developers using Apple's Xcode IDE to build applications for Mac-based devices.

The support comes in the form of dedicated hosts, a new resource class for developers who are building and testing applications for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, WatchOS, and tvOS using Xcode.

CircleCI’s other macOS resources are run on isolated virtual machines (VMs), which means that several customer can be using VMs on the same host. This new layer of support offers Apple developers 24-hour, continuous access to a bare metal instance—an isolated environment that enables enhanced testing, security, and storage functionalities.  

"Our host machines feature 200GB of storage and 12 vCPU cores to support the highest build volume possible," explained CircleCI production manager Alexa Zeazas Loper, in a blog post. "This means teams can scale their macOS and iOS builds on CircleCI without worrying about storage limitations. All jobs will run on an isolated host machine for airtight code security. Our dedicated hosts support the same Xcode versions as our virtual machines, so you’ll be able to run your builds on the version your application needs."

The CircleCI namesake platform is designed to automate software delivery at scale. The provider's aim is to free dev teams from the need to maintain complex and fragile build systems, allowing them to focus on shipping code to their customers. The company has said that more than 200,000 teams now employ its CI/CD platform.

The new resource offers a number of benefits, the company points out, including the ability to monitor the performance of multiple platforms in the same pipeline. Teams can run macOS jobs on the same pipeline as their Linux or Android projects to ensure consistency and monitor issues across repos with a single tool.

CircleCI claims that providing developers with continuous access to a bare metal instance enhances their ability to run resource-intensive builds. The dedicated hosts provide high performance (50% more cores and twice the storage capacity), and access to the hardware’s GPU for end-to-end testing. 

It allows Apple developers to access secure and clean environments for every build, because all jobs run on a dedicated, isolated host machine for airtight security. 

"Together these capabilities will allow Apple developers to grow and improve their apps and user experiences," Loper said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].