A quick look at pull requests of well-known AI/ML-related images on Docker Hub shows more than 100 million pull requests. What is driving this level of demand in the AI/ML space? The same things that drive developers to use Docker for any project: accelerating development, streamlining collaboration, and ensuring consistency within projects.
In this article, we’ll look more closely at how Docker provides a powerful tool for AI/ML development.
As we interact with more development teams who use Docker as part of their AI/ML efforts, we are learning about new and exciting use cases and hearing first-hand how using Docker has helped simplify the process of sharing AI/ML solutions with their teams and other AI/ML practitioners.
Why is Docker the deployment choice for millions of developers when working with AI/ML?
AI/ML development involves managing complex dependencies, libraries, and configurations, which can be challenging and time-consuming. Although these complexities are not limited to AI/ML development, with AI/ML, they can be more taxing on developers. Docker, however, has been helping developers address such issues for 10 years now.
Consistency across environments
Docker allows you to create a containerized environment that includes all the dependencies required for your AI/ML project, including libraries, tools, and frameworks. This environment can be easily shared and replicated across different machines and operating systems, ensuring consistency and reproducibility. Docker images can also be version-controlled and shared via container registries such as Docker Hub, thus enabling seamless collaboration and continuous integration and delivery.
Docker provides a lightweight and efficient way to scale AI/ML applications. With Docker, you can run multiple containers on the same machine or across different machines in a cluster, enabling horizontal scaling. This approach can help you handle large datasets, run multiple experiments in parallel, and increase the overall performance of your applications.
Docker provides portability, allowing you to run your AI/ML applications on any platform that supports Docker, including local machines, cloud-based infrastructures, and edge devices. Docker images can be built once and deployed anywhere, eliminating compatibility issues and reducing the need for complex configurations. This can help you streamline the deployment process and focus on the development of your models.
Docker enables reproducibility by providing a way to package the entire AI/ML application and its dependencies into a container. This container can be easily shared and replicated, ensuring that experiments are reproducible, regardless of the environment they are run in. Docker provides a way to specify the exact versions of dependencies and configurations needed to reproduce results, which can help validate experiments and ensure reliability and repeatability.
Docker makes it easy to collaborate on AI/ML projects with team members or colleagues. Docker images or containers can be easily shared and distributed, ensuring that everyone has access to the same environment and dependencies. This collaboration can help streamline the development process and reduce the time and effort required to set up development environments.
Docker provides a powerful tool for AI/ML development, providing consistency, scalability, portability, reproducibility, and collaboration. By using Docker to package and distribute AI/ML applications and their dependencies, developers can simplify the development process and focus on building and improving their models.
Check out the Accelerated AI/ML Development page to learn more about how Docker fits into the AI/ML development process.
If you have an interesting use case or story about Docker in your AI/ML workflow, we would love to hear from you and maybe even share your story.