Beginner’s Guide to MLOps

Kara Brummer
April 4, 2024

I recently completed a learning path on Data Ops. I also specifically did some research on MLOps, and I decided to share some of my learnings with all of you.

MLOps, short for Machine Learning Operations, is essentially the art of streamlining the lifecycle of machine learning models – from development to deployment and beyond.

So, imagine you've created an incredible machine learning model, but getting it to perform seamlessly in the real world is a whole different ball game. That's where MLOps steps in, ensuring your models not only perform well but also scale effectively for a broad user base.

But why exactly do we need MLOps? Well, consider the complexities involved in managing large amounts of data, tweaking model parameters, monitoring performance, and adapting to real-world changes. MLOps tackles these challenges head-on, making it possible to navigate the intricate maze of machine learning with finesse.

Now, how does MLOps differ from the tried-and-tested DevOps framework? While DevOps focuses on software application development and deployment, MLOps has its unique set of stages tailored for machine learning projects. These stages encompass scoping, data engineering, modelling, deployment, and monitoring, each playing a crucial role in ensuring the success of ML initiatives.

When it comes to the infrastructure setup for deploying ML models in production, there's a lot to unpack. From data collection and verification to feature extraction and configuration, every step is carefully planned to ensure smooth sailing for your models in the real world.

As we delve deeper into MLOps, we encounter different levels of maturity, from manual processes to fully automated pipelines. Each level brings us closer to achieving operational excellence in managing ML projects at scale.

So, where do we go from here? Now that we have a basic understanding of MLOps, it's time to get practical and start experimenting. Here are some specific Azure tools and technologies that can be used for each step in the MLOps process:

  1. Data Collection and Verification: Tools: Azure Data Factory, Azure Event Hubs, Azure Data Lake Storage Technologies: Azure Blob Storage, Azure SQL Database, Azure Cosmos DB
  2. Feature Extraction and Configuration: Tools: Azure Databricks, Azure Machine Learning Technologies: Azure Feature Store, Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Notebooks
  3. Model Training and Tuning: Tools: Azure Machine Learning, Azure AutoML Technologies: Azure ML Pipelines, Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Batch AI
  4. Model Deployment: Tools: Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Container Instances (ACI), Azure Functions Technologies: Azure Model Management, Azure DevOps, Azure Container Registry (ACR)
  5. Model Monitoring: Tools: Azure Monitor, Azure Application Insights Technologies: Azure Machine Learning Model Monitor, Azure Log Analytics, Azure Time Series Insights

Remember, MLOps isn't just a buzzword – it's a game-changer in the realm of machine learning, empowering teams to collaborate, iterate, and deliver impactful solutions faster than ever before. Hope this sheds some light and that you learnt something new with me! 👩💻🚀

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