Despite a rich set of ecosystem tools for data science and machine learning, there is still a big gap between its benefit and real business needs. There are a limited number of services that can effectively cover such system qualities as availability, release management, or even basic security. And that does not include IT operational aspects — integration with enterprise systems such as data warehouses, data lakes, user management systems, monitoring, and auditing.
In the last few years, we have witnessed a substantial technical leap in data processing (Apache® Hadoop® ecosystem, Apache Kafka®, Apache Beam®, etc.) and compute (Kubernetes®, functions as a service, on-demand computation, etc.). However, when we look at the data science and machine learning domain, we need a solution beyond the data science engineer’s laptop and the “works on my machine” attitude.
Despite a recent plethora of new frameworks being introduced (TensorFlow™, Caffe2, PyTorch®) and the usage of accelerators and AI on CPUs, this ecosystem is lagging compared to the mature Hadoop ecosystem.
Therefore, when we look at a typical data science development lifecycle, we observe an inefficiency or bottleneck due to data science tasks being performed on non-performant infrastructure (such as the data scientist’s laptop):
Glue code, pipeline jungles, and dead experimental code paths in addition to configuration debt are some reasons why the market doesn’t have a widely adapted product for machine learning and data science tasks beyond the engineer’s laptop and Jupyter® Notebooks.