Iguazio, an end-to-end platform that allows data scientists to take machine learning models from data ingestion to training, testing and production, today announced that it is bringing its solution to Microsoft’s Azure cloud and Azure Stack on-premises platform.
The 80-person company, which has received a total of $48 million in funding to date, aims to make it easier for data scientists to do the work they are actually paid to do. The company argues that a lot of the work that data scientists do today is about managing the infrastructure and handling integrations, not building the machine learning models.
“We see that machine learning pipelines are way more complex than people think,” Iguazio CEO Asaf Somekh told me. “People think this is good stuff, but it’s actually horrible. We’re trying to simplify that.”
To do this, Iguazio is betting on open source. It uses standard tools and API to pull in data from a wide variety of sources, which is then stored in its real-time in-memory database, which can handle streaming data, as well as time series data, tables and files. It also uses standard Jupyter notebooks instead of some form of proprietary format, but what’s maybe most interesting is that the company also built and open-platform for building data science pipelines. To build the models, Iguazio also uses KubeFlow, a machine learning toolkit for the Kubernetes container platform.
Given that Azure and Azure Stack are essentially the same platform, as far as the APIs are concerned, Iguazio can then take its software and run it both in the cloud and on premises. Soon, it’ll also bring its service to Microsoft’s Azure Data Box Edge, Microsoft’s hardware solution for storing and analyzing data at the edge, which can be equipped with FPGAs for deploying machine learning models.
“Partnering with Iguazio, we can offer additional options for AI applications in the cloud to also run on the edge. Iguazio provides an additional path to run AI on the edge beyond our current Microsoft Azure Machine Learning inferencing on the edge,” said Henry Jerez, Principal Group Product Manager at Microsoft’s Intelligent Edge Solutions Platform Group. “This new marketplace option provides an additional alternate path for our customers to bring intelligence close to the data sources for applications such as predictive maintenance and real-time recommendation engines.”
The Azure solution joins Iguazio’s existing options to deploy its services on top of AWS and Google Cloud Platform.