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Component guide

Overview of categories of MLOps components.
If you are new to the world of MLOps, it is often daunting to be immediately faced with a sea of tools that seemingly all promise and do the same things. It is useful in this case to try to categorize tools in various groups in order to understand their value in your toolchain in a more precise manner.
ZenML tackles this problem by introducing the concept of Stacks and Stack Components. These stack components represent categories, each of which has a particular function in your MLOps pipeline. ZenML realizes these stack components as base abstractions that standardize the entire workflow for your team. In order to then realize the benefit, one can write a concrete implementation of the abstraction, or use one of the many built-in integrations that implement these abstractions for you.
Here is a full list of all stack components currently supported in ZenML, with a description of the role of that component in the MLOps process:
Type of Stack Component
Orchestrating the runs of your pipeline
Storage for the artifacts created by your pipelines
Store for your containers
Execution of individual steps in specialized runtime environments
Services/platforms responsible for online model serving
Management of your data/features
Tracking your ML experiments
Sending alerts through specified channels
Labeling and annotating data
Data and model validation
Builds container images.
Manage and interact with ML Models
Each pipeline run that you execute with ZenML will require a stack and each stack will be required to include at least an orchestrator and an artifact store. Apart from these two, the other components are optional and to be added as your pipeline evolves in MLOps maturity.

Writing custom component flavors

You can take control of how ZenML behaves by creating your own components. This is done by writing custom component flavors. To learn more, head over to the general guide on writing component flavors, or read more specialized guides for specific component types (e.g. the custom orchestrator guide).
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