Deploy machine learning models in production

Cortex is an open source platform for deploying machine learning models as production web services.


Key features

  • Multi framework: Cortex supports TensorFlow, PyTorch, scikit-learn, XGBoost, and more.

  • Autoscaling: Cortex automatically scales APIs to handle production workloads.

  • CPU / GPU support: Cortex can run inference on CPU or GPU infrastructure.

  • Spot instances: Cortex supports EC2 spot instances.

  • Rolling updates: Cortex updates deployed APIs without any downtime.

  • Log streaming: Cortex streams logs from deployed models to your CLI.

  • Prediction monitoring: Cortex monitors network metrics and tracks predictions.

  • Minimal configuration: deployments are defined in a single cortex.yaml file.

Spinning up a cluster

Cortex is designed to be self-hosted on any AWS account. You can spin up a cluster with a single command:

# install the CLI on your machine
$ bash -c "$(curl -sS"
# provision infrastructure on AWS and spin up a cluster
$ cortex cluster up
aws region: us-west-2
aws instance type: p2.xlarge
spot instances: yes
min instances: 0
max instances: 10
○ spinning up your cluster ...
your cluster is ready!

Deploying a model

Implement your predictor

model = download_model()
def predict(sample, metadata):
return model.predict(sample["text"])

Configure your deployment

# cortex.yaml
- kind: deployment
name: sentiment
- kind: api
name: classifier
model_type: classification
gpu: 1
mem: 4G

Deploy to AWS

$ cortex deploy
creating classifier (http://***

Serve real-time predictions

$ curl http://*** \
-X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-d '{"text": "the movie was amazing!"}'

Monitor your deployment

$ cortex get classifier --watch
status up-to-date available requested last update avg latency
live 1 1 1 8s 24ms
class count
positive 8
negative 4

What is Cortex similar to?

Cortex is an open source alternative to serving models with SageMaker or building your own model deployment platform on top of AWS services like Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Elastic Container Service (ECS), Lambda, Fargate, and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and open source projects like Docker, Kubernetes, and TensorFlow Serving.

How does Cortex work?

The CLI sends configuration and code to the cluster every time you run cortex deploy. Each model is loaded into a Docker container, along with any Python packages and request handling code. The model is exposed as a web service using Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), TensorFlow Serving, and ONNX Runtime. The containers are orchestrated on Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) while logs and metrics are streamed to CloudWatch.

Examples of Cortex deployments