Stack Recipes

Introduction to Stack recipes which help you deploy a full MLOps stack in minutes!

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When we first created ZenML as an extensible MLOps framework for creating portable, production-ready MLOps pipelines, we saw many of our users having to deal with the pain of deploying infrastructure from scratch to run these pipelines.

The expertise of setting up these often-complex stacks up shouldn't be a prerequisite to running your ML pipelines. We created stack recipes as a way to allow you to quickly get started with a full-fledged MLOps stack with the execution of just a couple of simple commands. Read on to learn what a recipe is, how you can deploy it and the steps needed to create your own!

Stack Recipes ๐Ÿฑ

A Stack Recipe is a collection of carefully-crafted Terraform modules and resources which, when executed, creates a range of stack components that can be used to run your pipelines. Each recipe is designed to offer a great deal of flexibility in configuring the resources while preserving the ease of application through the use of sensible defaults.

Check out the full list of available recipes at the mlops-stacks repository.

Deploying a recipe ๐Ÿš€

Detailed steps are available in the README of the respective stack's recipe but here's what a simple flow could look like:

  1. ๐Ÿ“ƒ List the available recipes in the repository.

    zenml stack recipe list
  2. Pull the recipe that you wish to deploy to your local system.

    zenml stack recipe pull <STACK_RECIPE_NAME>
  3. ๐ŸŽจ Customize your deployment by editing the default values in the file. This file holds all the configurable parameters for each of the stack components.

  4. ๐Ÿ” Add your secret information like keys and passwords into the values.tfvars.json file which is not committed and only exists locally.

  5. ๐Ÿš€ Deploy the recipe with this simple command.

    zenml stack recipe deploy <STACK_RECIPE_NAME>

    If you want to allow ZenML to automatically import the created resources as a ZenML stack, pass the --import flag to the command above. By default, the imported stack will have the same name as the stack recipe and you can provide your own custom name with the --stack-name option.

  6. You'll notice that a ZenML stack configuration file gets created after the previous command executes ๐Ÿคฏ! This YAML file can be imported as a ZenML stack manually by running the following command.


Deleting resources

  1. ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ Once you're done running your pipelines, there's only a single command you need to execute that will take care of cleaning up all the resources that you had created on your cloud.

    zenml stack recipe destroy <STACK_RECIPE_NAME>
  2. (Optional) ๐Ÿงน You can also remove all the downloaded recipe files from the pull execution by using the clean command.

    zenml stack recipe clean

Check out the API docs to learn more about each of these commands and the options that are available.

Deploying stack components directly

To deploy stack components directly without needing to pull stack recipes (as described above), you can use the zenml <STACK_COMPONENT> deploy command. For example, to deploy an S3 artifact store, you can run:

zenml artifact-store deploy s3_artifact_store --flavor=s3

The command takes in a name to use for the stack component, along with the flavor and the cloud provider. In case of components like artifact stores and container registries, the cloud is the same as the flavor and can be omitted from the command. (Currently, only GCP, AWS and k3d are supported as providers.)

Available flavors that can currently be deployed in this way include:

Customizing the deployment of stack components

You can pass configuration specific to the stack components as key-value arguments. If you don't provide a name, a random one is generated for you.

Experiment Trackers

For example, to assign an existing bucket to the MLflow experiment tracker, you can run:

zenml experiment-tracker deploy mlflow_tracker --flavor=mlflow --mlflow_bucket=gs://my_bucket

Artifact Stores

For an artifact store, you can pass bucket_name as an argument to the command.

zenml artifact-store deploy s3_artifact_store --flavor=s3 --bucket_name=my_bucket

Container Registries

For container registries you can pass the repository name using repo_name:

zenml container-registry deploy aws_registry --flavor=aws --repo_name=my_repo

This is only useful for the AWS case since AWS requires a repository to be created before pushing images to it and the deploy command ensures that a repository with the name you provide is created. In case of GCP and other providers, you can choose the repository name at the same time as you are pushing the image via code. This is achieved through setting the target_repo attribute of the the DockerSettings object.

In the case of GCP components, it is required that you pass a project ID to the command for the first time you're creating any GCP resource. The command will remember the project ID for subsequent calls. For example, to deploy a GCS artifact store, you can run:

zenml artifact-store deploy gcs_artifact_store --flavor=gcs --project_id=my_project

Other configuration

You can also pass a region to deploy your resources to in the case of AWS and GCP recipes. For example, to deploy an S3 artifact store in the us-west-2 region, you can run:

zenml artifact-store deploy s3_artifact_store --flavor=s3 --region=us-west-2

The default region is eu-west-1 for AWS and europe-west1 for GCP.

Changing regions is not recommended as it can lead to unexpected results for components that share infrastructure like Kubernetes clusters. If you must do so, please destroy all the stack components from the older region by running the destroy command and then redeploy using the deploy command.

Destroying deployed stack components

You can destroy a stack component using the destroy subcommand. For example, to destroy an S3 artifact store you had previously created, you could run:

zenml artifact-store destroy s3_artifact_store

Further Integration with the ZenML CLI ๐Ÿ™

The ZenML CLI offers a set of commands to make it easy for you to list, pull and deploy recipes from anywhere!

In addition to the underlying terraform functionality, these commands also offer the following:

  • ability to list all the available recipes conveniently before you choose to deploy any one of them.

  • checks to ensure that you have all the binaries/tools installed for running a recipe.

  • extensive logs and error messages that guide you in case any of the recipes fails or misbehaves.

  • option to automatically import a ZenML stack out of the components created after deploying a stack recipe.

To learn more about what you can do with the ZenML CLI, please refer to the CLI docs.

Creating your own recipe ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿณ

The number of recipes available right now is finite and there can be combinations of stack components that are not yet covered by any of the existing recipes. If you wish, you can contribute a recipe for any combination that you'd like to see.

The file on the repository lists the principles that each recipe follows and gives details about the steps you should take when designing your own recipe. Feel free to also reach out to the ZenML community on Slack ๐Ÿ‘‹ if you need help with any part of the process!

Manual Recipes with Terraform

You can still use the ZenML stack recipes without needing the zenml stack recipe CLI commands or even without installing ZenML. Since each recipe is a group of Terraform modules, you can simply use the Terraform CLI to perform apply and destroy operations.

Create the stack

  1. ๐ŸŽจ Customize your deployment by editing the default values in the file.

  2. ๐Ÿ” Add your secret information like keys and passwords into the values.tfvars.json file which is not committed and only exists locally.

  3. Initialize Terraform modules and download provider definitions.

    terraform init
  4. Apply the recipe.

    terraform apply

Getting the outputs

For outputs that are sensitive, you'll see that they are not shown directly on the logs. To view the full list of outputs, run the following command:

terraform output

To view individual sensitive outputs, use the following format. Here, the metadata password is being obtained.

terraform output metadata-db-password

Deleting resources (manually)

  1. ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ Run the destroy function to clean up all resources.

    terraform destroy

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