Kubeflow, created by Google in 2018, and MLflow, an open-source platform for managing the end-to-end machine learning lifecycle are powerful machine learning operations (MLOps) platforms that can be used for experimentation, development, and production.
As a data scientist or machine learning (ML) engineer, you’ve probably already heard of them. They’re two of the most popular open-source tools available today, part of a wider variety of MLOps solutions and tools available on the market that are helping ML teams to streamline their workflows and deliver better results.
Both Kubeflow and MLflow offer a massive set of capabilities for developing and deploying powerful ML models. However, they’re also two very different tools focused on different things. While Kubeflow is focused on orchestration and pipeline, MLflow is more focused on experiment tracking. This means that they’ve both got different use cases, and this can have an impact on their suitability for meeting the demands of your ML team.
In the fifth installment in a series of new guides, we’re going to compare the Kubeflow toolkit with MLflow and look at the similarities and differences that exist between the two tools.
Kubeflow is a Kubernetes-based end-to-end machine learning (ML) stack orchestration toolkit for deploying, scaling and managing large-scale systems. The Kubeflow project is dedicated to making ML on Kubernetes easy, portable, and scalable by providing a straightforward way for spinning up the best possible OSS solutions.
On the other hand, MLflow is an open-source framework for tracking ML cycles from beginning to end, from training all the way through to deployment. Some of the functions offered by MLflow include model tracking, management, packaging, and centralized lifecycle stage transitions.
In this comparison of Kubeflow vs MLflow, we’re going to look at the main similarities and differences that will help you decide between Kubeflow vs MLflow so that you can decide which one is best for your needs and use case.
Kubeflow is a free and open-source ML platform that allows you to use ML pipelines to orchestrate complicated workflows running on Kubernetes.
It’s based on the Kubernetes open-source ML toolkit and works by converting stages in your data science process into Kubernetes ‘jobs’, providing your ML libraries, frameworks, pipelines, and notebooks with a cloud-native interface.
Kubeflow works on Kubernetes clusters, either locally or in the cloud, which enables ML models to be trained on several computers at once. This reduces the time it takes to train a model.
Some of the features and components of Kubeflow include:
MLflow is an open-source framework for tracking ML cycles from beginning to end, from training all the way through to deployment. The tool was built from learning the standards of ‘big tech’ with a particular focus on creating transferable knowledge, ease of use, modularity, and ensuring compatibility with popular ML libraries and frameworks.
The tool allows you to develop, track, compare, package, and deploy ML models locally or remotely. It handles everything from data versioning, model management, and experiment tracking until deployment–with the exception of data sourcing, labeling, and pipelining.
The idea behind MLflow is to create packages that can help with reproducing projects and encapsulate models so that they’re available for use with tools, and there’s a central repository to share them. Essentially, MLflow makes it easy to keep records of experiments to make it easier to analyze and compare what data, models, and parameters generated the best result.
Some of the features and components of MLflow include:
Kubeflow and MLflow are both open-source platforms, and this means they’ve both received a broad range of third-party support.
This has led to some similarities between the two, namely:
At the same time, there are some major differences because both tools are supported by different tech communities. Kubeflow is supported by Google whereas MLflow is supported by Databricks, the organization behind Spark.
Some of the key differences include:
Kubeflow and MLflow are both leaders in the open-source ML space, but they’re very different platforms.
In as simple terms as possible, Kubeflow solves infrastructure and experiment tracking while MLflow only solves experiment tracking and model versioning.
Kubeflow requires more set-up and technical know-how and is better for larger teams responsible for delivering custom ML solutions. In contrast, MLflow meets the needs of data scientists looking to organize themselves better around their experiments and models.
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