Google Cloud VertexAI

Executing individual steps in Vertex AI.

Vertex AI offers specialized compute instances to run your training jobs and has a comprehensive UI to track and manage your models and logs. ZenML's Vertex AI step operator allows you to submit individual steps to be run on Vertex AI compute instances.

When to use it

You should use the Vertex step operator if:

  • one or more steps of your pipeline require computing resources (CPU, GPU, memory) that are not provided by your orchestrator.

  • you have access to Vertex AI. If you're using a different cloud provider, take a look at the SageMaker or AzureML step operators.

How to deploy it

  • Enable Vertex AI here.

  • Create a service account with the right permissions to create Vertex AI jobs (roles/aiplatform.admin) and push to the container registry (roles/storage.admin).

How to use it

To use the Vertex step operator, we need:

  • The ZenML gcp integration installed. If you haven't done so, run

    zenml integration install gcp
  • Docker installed and running.

  • Vertex AI enabled and a service account file. See the deployment section for detailed instructions.

  • A GCR container registry as part of our stack.

  • (Optional) A machine type that we want to execute our steps on (this defaults to n1-standard-4). See here for a list of available machine types.

  • A remote artifact store as part of your stack. This is needed so that both your orchestration environment and VertexAI can read and write step artifacts. Check out the documentation page of the artifact store you want to use for more information on how to set that up and configure authentication for it.

You have three different options to provide GCP credentials to the step operator:

  • use the gcloud CLI to authenticate locally with GCP. This only works in combination with the local orchestrator.

    gcloud auth login
    
    zenml step-operator register <STEP_OPERATOR_NAME> \
        --flavor=vertex \
        --project=<GCP_PROJECT> \
        --region=<REGION> \
    #   --machine_type=<MACHINE_TYPE> # optionally specify the type of machine to run on
  • configure the orchestrator to use a service account key file to authenticate with GCP by setting the service_account_path parameter in the orchestrator configuration to point to a service account key file. This also works only in combination with the local orchestrator.

    zenml step-operator register <STEP_OPERATOR_NAME> \
        --flavor=vertex \
        --project=<GCP_PROJECT> \
        --region=<REGION> \
        --service_account_path=<SERVICE_ACCOUNT_PATH> \
    #   --machine_type=<MACHINE_TYPE> # optionally specify the type of machine to run on
  • (recommended) configure a GCP Service Connector with GCP credentials coming from a service account key file or the local gcloud CLI set up with user account credentials and then link the Vertex AI Step Operator stack component to the Service Connector. This option works with any orchestrator.

    zenml service-connector register <CONNECTOR_NAME> --type gcp --auth-method=service-account --project_id=<PROJECT_ID> --service_account_json=@<SERVICE_ACCOUNT_PATH> --resource-type gcp-generic
    
    # Or, as an alternative, you could use the GCP user account locally set up with gcloud
    # zenml service-connector register <CONNECTOR_NAME> --type gcp --resource-type gcp-generic --auto-configure
    
    zenml step-operator register <STEP_OPERATOR_NAME> \
        --flavor=vertex \
        --region=<REGION> \
    #   --machine_type=<MACHINE_TYPE> # optionally specify the type of machine to run on
    
    zenml step-operator connect <STEP_OPERATOR_NAME> --connector <CONNECTOR_NAME>

We can then use the registered step operator in our active stack:

# Add the step operator to the active stack
zenml stack update -s <NAME>

Once you added the step operator to your active stack, you can use it to execute individual steps of your pipeline by specifying it in the @step decorator as follows:

from zenml import step


@step(step_operator= <NAME>)
def trainer(...) -> ...:
    """Train a model."""
    # This step will be executed in Vertex.

ZenML will build a Docker image called <CONTAINER_REGISTRY_URI>/zenml:<PIPELINE_NAME> which includes your code and use it to run your steps in Vertex AI. Check out this page if you want to learn more about how ZenML builds these images and how you can customize them.

Additional configuration

You can specify the service account, network and reserved IP ranges to use for the VertexAI CustomJob by passing the service_account, network and reserved_ip_ranges parameters to the step-operator register command:

    zenml step-operator register <STEP_OPERATOR_NAME> \
        --flavor=vertex \
        --project=<GCP_PROJECT> \
        --region=<REGION> \
        --service_account=<SERVICE_ACCOUNT> # optionally specify the service account to use for the VertexAI CustomJob
        --network=<NETWORK> # optionally specify the network to use for the VertexAI CustomJob
        --reserved_ip_ranges=<RESERVED_IP_RANGES> # optionally specify the reserved IP range to use for the VertexAI CustomJob

For additional configuration of the Vertex step operator, you can pass VertexStepOperatorSettings when defining or running your pipeline.

from zenml import step
from zenml.integrations.gcp.flavors.vertex_step_operator_flavor import VertexStepOperatorSettings

@step(step_operator= <NAME>, settings=settings= {"step_operator.vertex": vertex_operator_settings = VertexStepOperatorSettings(
    accelerator_type  = "NVIDIA_TESLA_T4" # see https://cloud.google.com/vertex-ai/docs/reference/rest/v1/MachineSpec#AcceleratorType
    accelerator_count = 1
    machine_type = "n1-standard-2"        # see https://cloud.google.com/vertex-ai/docs/training/configure-compute#machine-types
    disk_type = "pd-ssd"                  # see https://cloud.google.com/vertex-ai/docs/training/configure-storage#disk-types
    disk_size_gb = 100                    # see https://cloud.google.com/vertex-ai/docs/training/configure-storage#disk-size
    )})
def trainer(...) -> ...:
    """Train a model."""
    # This step will be executed in Vertex.

Check out the SDK docs for a full list of available attributes and this docs page for more information on how to specify settings.

For more information and a full list of configurable attributes of the Vertex step operator, check out the SDK Docs .

Enabling CUDA for GPU-backed hardware

Note that if you wish to use this step operator to run steps on a GPU, you will need to follow the instructions on this page to ensure that it works. It requires adding some extra settings customization and is essential to enable CUDA for the GPU to give its full acceleration.

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