Exploring Alternatives to AWS Sagemaker

May 3, 2024
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Introduction to AWS Sagemaker

AWS SageMaker is a comprehensive, fully managed service offered by Amazon Web Services that facilitates the entire machine learning (ML) workflow, making it simpler for developers and data scientists to build, train, and deploy machine learning models quickly and efficiently.

Sagemaker integrates various components of ML projects, such as data preparation, model building, training, and deployment, into a single, user-friendly environment. SageMaker's standout features include a broad selection of built-in algorithms, one-click deployment, automatic model tuning, and the ability to scale jobs of any size with fully managed infrastructure. Additionally, SageMaker offers robust integration with the AWS ecosystem, allowing seamless access to data storage, analytics, and other AWS services.

Pricing : Amazon Sagemaker uses the pay-as-you-go model. It allows users to pay for only what they use, with no upfront payments or long-term contracts required.

Is Sagemaker the right choice for me?

Sagemaker could be the ideal choice for you if you are :

  • An organization that leverages AWS services, benefiting from native integration for a smoother workflow.
  • An ML practitioner who values the ability to scale jobs easily and manage models comprehensively within a robust ecosystem.
  • Mindful of the potential costs associated with a pay-as-you-go pricing model and prepared to manage these expenses as your project scales.
  • Willing to navigate the complexity of SageMaker’s extensive features to take full advantage of its capabilities.

Reasons for Exploring Alternatives to Sagemaker

While AWS SageMaker offers a powerful suite of tools for ML model development and deployment, several reasons might lead users to consider alternatives. Firstly, the cost associated with SageMaker can become significant as projects scale, given its pay-as-you-go pricing model. For startups or smaller teams, the expenses for compute resources, storage, and data transfer can accumulate quickly. Additionally, the platform's breadth and depth, though beneficial, can present a steep learning curve for those new to AWS or machine learning. This complexity might deter users looking for simpler, more straightforward solutions. Furthermore, organizations not deeply embedded in the AWS ecosystem might prefer platforms that offer greater flexibility or are more agnostic in terms of cloud services integration. Lastly, specific project requirements or the need for specialized functionalities not covered by SageMaker could also motivate the exploration of alternatives, especially open-source options or platforms with unique features that better align with particular project goals or operational philosophies.

6 Best AWS Sagemaker alternatives

  1. TrueFoundry
  2. BentoML
  3. VertexAI
  4. Seldon Core
  5. MLflow
  6. Valohai


TrueFoundry is designed to significantly ease the deployment of applications on Kubernetes clusters within your own cloud provider account. It emphasizes data security by ensuring data and compute operations remain within your environment, adheres to SRE principles, and is cloud-native, enabling efficient use of various cloud providers' hardware. Its architecture provides a split plane comprising a Control Plane for orchestration and a Compute Plane where user code runs, aimed at secure, efficient, and cost-effective ML operations.

Moreover, TrueFoundry excels in offering an environment that streamlines the development to deployment pipeline, thanks to its integration with popular ML frameworks and tools. This allows for a more fluid workflow, easing the transition from model training to actual deployment. It provides engineers and data developers with an interface that prioritizes human-centric design, significantly reducing the overhead typically associated with ML operations. With 24/7 support and guaranteed service level agreements (SLAs), TrueFoundry assures a solid foundation for data teams to innovate without the need to reinvent infrastructure solutions.

Pricing : The startup plan begins at $0 per month, offering free access for one user for two months, while the professional plan starts at $500 per month, adding features like multi-cloud support and cloud cost optimizations. For enterprises, custom quotes are provided to suit specific needs, including self-hosted control planes and compliance certificates. 

Limitations : TrueFoundry's extensive feature set and integration capabilities may introduce complexity, leading to a steep learning curve for new users.

Comparison with AWS Sagemaker


BentoML is an open-source platform designed for serving, managing, and deploying machine learning models with ease and at scale.

As part of AI application packaging, BentoML is a container for all the components in a model service, packaging applications and deployment in a streamlined way. The power of openness lies in its standard and SDK, through which developers can build applications using any model sourced from third-party hubs or developed in-house with popular frameworks like PyTorch and TensorFlow. BentoML also serves with maximum optimization and efficiency by integrating with high-performance runtimes, such as reduced response time and support for parallel processing, with improved throughput, and adaptive batching for better resource efficiency. 

Not only that, but BentoML also ensures simple architecture because of the development that is Python-first and its tight integration with popular ML platforms like MLFlow and Kubeflow. BentoML makes the deployment process very simple: single-click deployments to BentoCloud or large-scale deployments with Yatai on Kubernetes. BentoML supports deploying anywhere Docker is supported. Link to Github Repository: https://github.com/bentoml/BentoML.

Pricing : BentoML is open-source and free to use, offering a cost-effective solution for deploying machine learning models without any licensing fees or upfront costs.

Limitations : We look at other options for BentoML mainly because it focuses on production workloads with limited support for the preceding steps in the machine learning development life cycle, such as experimentation and model refinement. While BentoML excels at serving models in production through its own API and command-line tools for model registry and deployment, it requires manual integration for additional features beyond production, like model storage.

Comparison with AWS Sagemaker

Vertex AI

Vertex AI is Google Cloud's unified machine learning platform that streamlines the development of AI models and applications. It offers a cohesive environment for the entire machine learning workflow, including the training, fine-tuning, and deployment of machine learning models. Vertex AI stands out for its ability to support over 100 foundation models and integration with services for conversational AI and other solutions. It accelerates the ML development process, allowing for rapid training and deployment of models on the same platform, which is beneficial for both efficiency and consistency in ML projects.

Pricing : Vertex AI follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model, where costs are incurred based on the resources and services used. This model provides flexibility for projects of varying sizes, from small to large-scale deployments. Google Cloud also offers new customers $300 in free credits to experiment with Vertex AI services.

Limitations : Despite its extensive features and integration capabilities, Vertex AI can present challenges when transitioning existing code and workflows into its environment. Users may need to adapt to Vertex AI's operational methods, which could lead to a degree of vendor lock-in. Additionally, large-scale deployments could lead to higher expenses, especially when utilizing high-resource services such as AutoML and large language model training. These potential cost implications and operational adjustments are critical factors to consider when choosing Vertex AI as a machine learning platform.

Comparison with AWS Sagemaker

Seldon Core

Seldon Core is an open-source platform designed to simplify the deployment, scaling, and management of machine learning models on Kubernetes. It provides a powerful framework for serving models built with any machine learning toolkit, enabling easy wrapping of models into Docker containers ready for deployment. Seldon Core facilitates complex inference pipelines, A/B testing, canary rollouts, and comprehensive monitoring with Prometheus, ensuring high efficiency and scalability for machine learning operations.

Pricing : Being open-source, Seldon Core itself does not incur direct costs, although operational costs depend on the underlying Kubernetes infrastructure.

For a detailed exploration of Seldon Core's capabilities and documentation, visit their GitHub repository and official documentation.

Limitations : The initial setup requires a good understanding of Kubernetes, which may present a steep learning curve for those unfamiliar with container orchestration. Also, while it supports a wide range of ML tools and languages, customization or use of non-standard frameworks can complicate the workflow. Some advanced features, like data preprocessing and postprocessing, are not supported when using certain servers like MLServer or Triton Server​ ​. Additionally, the documentation, although extensive, may be lacking for advanced use cases and occasionally leads to deprecated or unavailable content​.​.

Comparison with AWS Sagemaker


MLflow is an open-source platform designed to manage the ML lifecycle, including experimentation, reproducibility, and deployment. It offers four primary components: MLflow Tracking to log experiments, MLflow Projects for packaging ML code, MLflow Models for managing and deploying models across frameworks, and MLflow Registry to centralize model management. This comprehensive toolkit simplifies processes across the machine learning lifecycle, making it easier for teams to collaborate, track, and deploy their ML models efficiently.

Pricing : MLflow is free to use, being open-source, with operational costs depending on the infrastructure used for running ML experiments and serving models.

For a deeper understanding of MLflow, its features, and capabilities, consider exploring its documentation and GitHub repository.

Limitations : MLflow is versatile and powerful for experiment tracking and model management, but it faces challenges in areas like security and compliance, user access management, and the need for self-managed infrastructure. Moreover it has issues with scalability and the number of features are also limited.

Comparison with AWS Sagemaker


Valohai is an MLOps platform engineered for machine learning pioneers, aimed at streamlining the ML workflow. It provides tools that automate machine learning infrastructure, empowering data scientists to orchestrate machine learning workloads across various environments, whether cloud-based or on-premise. With features designed to manage complex deep learning processes, Valohai facilitates the efficient tracking of every step in the machine learning model's life cycle.

Pricing : Valohai offers three options: SaaS for teams starting out with unlimited cloud compute, Private for enhanced functionality and speed with the choice of cloud or on-premise compute, and Self-Hosted for maximum security and scalability, enabling full control over ML operations on preferred infrastructure.

Limitations : Valohai promises to automate and optimize the deployment of machine learning models, offering a comprehensive system that supports batch and real-time inferences. However, users looking to utilize this platform must manage the complexity of integrating it within their existing systems and might face challenges if they're unfamiliar with handling extensive ML workflows and infrastructure management.

Comparison with AWS Sagemaker


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