Discover MLOps vs DevOps: Decoding The Essential Differences

Do you need clarification on DevOps and MLOps? While Machine Learning Ops is a new trend, DevOps is an existing methodology still in demand! DevOps has united development and operations with a unique approach. However, as a tech enthusiast, you must understand MLOps vs DevOps!

“DevOps, at its core, is a collaborative practice that integrates Operations with Development. MLOps, an extension of DevOps, applies similar principles in Machine Learning”.

Does that mean MLOps principles are the same as DevOps principles? No! The foundational differences set Machine Learning Operations apart from Development and Operations. DevOps focuses on improving the SDLC, and MLOps prioritizes ML development processes.

Let’s discuss what are the commonalities and differences between these two!

Understanding MLOps (Machine Learning Operations)

Influenced by DevOps, MLOps practices manage the development process of ML models. Many DevOps companies already use tools like Databricks, MLflow, Kubeflow, and TFX to automate the management of ML models. Highlighting here the best practices for Machine Learning Operations:

  • Automate the deployment process of ML models to reduce human errors and improve system efficiency.
  • Scale ML models to support performance demands during peak workloads.
  • Use a CI/CD pipeline to quickly deploy version updates and configuration changes to production.
  • Use version control with experiment tracking to keep track of ML model development and versioning over time.

This methodology aims to bring DevOps principles to Machine Learning. With MLOps and DevOps, organizations can streamline and automate their ML code deployments.

Exploring The Similarities Between DevOps and MLOps

Being an extended branch of DevOps, MLOps has some common grounds with Agile Principles and Practices. Let’s explore the main similarities:

  • Both methodologies facilitate smooth team collaboration, including QA, development, and operations.
  • Each one follows Agile Principles that ensure the efficient delivery of software components or Machine Learning models.
  • The two focus on continuous improvement with automation so that teams can reduce manual interventions and minimize deployment errors.
  • Many MLOps tools use existing DevOps tools like Jenkins, Git, and Kubernetes instead of tools explicitly developed for Machine Learning.
  • Apart from MLOps and DevOps differences, both accelerate the overall workflow with continuous monitoring and identify issues faster.
  • Both promote a culture of experimentation so that teams can deliver new features and capabilities and increase business value.

Decoding The Differences Between DevOps and MLops

With the increasing demand, many organizations are contemplating which methodology can help them achieve the desired outcome! So, it’s essential to compare and understand the core difference between the two.

#1 Data-Centricity

DevOps: DevOps-based CI/CD pipelines and other development practices do not heavily rely on data. Such practices focus on software/application code as they streamline continuous delivery processes using CI/CD pipelines and releases. While data may play a role in specific application contexts, it’s not the primary focal point of CI/CD workflows.

MLOps: In MLOps vs DevOps, the main difference is that Machine Learning Operations streamlines the development of ML models that heavily rely on data for training and validation. As ML models depend on large data sets, the testing and validation process depends on data instead of the code. This framework relies on data versioning throughout the ML lifecycle. This focus on data quality is unique to this framework and is essential for producing reliable ML models.

#2 Nature of Work

DevOps: It is all about application/software development. This methodology ensures continuous delivery of applications with continuous testing and frequent releases. Hence, it suits traditional software/app development projects.

MLOps: Speaking of MLOps vs DevOps, this framework is about building Machine Learning models. As all ML models are data-driven, they focus more on continuous iteration with constant monitoring. Instead of focusing on software/application development, it takes care of the development process of ML models.

#3 Development Principles

DevOps: The development concept in this methodology differs from Machine Learning Ops. The application code creates an interface using an executable artifact before being deployed to production. After testing, the code becomes available through release pipelines.

MLOps: The code in Machine Learning development enables the teams to build and train ML models. Teams use artifacts/serialized files to receive data inputs and validate the performance of the ML models. The main difference between MLOps and DevOps is that the cycle of ML validation continues until the model delivers the expected performance.

#4 The Concept Of Versioning

DevOps: In this methodology, version control typically tracks the changes to source code and artifacts. Agile practitioners clone the source code from the repository to work on enhancements. They create branches using version control systems to change the existing code.

MLOps: Here, version control extends beyond code. As this framework mainly focuses on data-driven results, the pipelines run iterative experimentation cycles on ML models. It uses different versions of the ML model to derive the results using other inputs. The process involves additional components like training datasets and model artifacts.

#5 Infrastructure & Reusability

In the next part of MLOps vs DevOps, let’s highlight the different operational requirements of the two!

DevOps: This methodology promotes automation in infrastructure deployments with Infrastructure-as-code and CI/CD automation tools. CI/CD pipelines focus on automated processes that control the continuous delivery process in an SDLC.

MLOps: Machine Learning pipelines do not automate infrastructure provisioning. Instead, these pipelines apply the same workflows and execute them repeatedly using different data sets as inputs. This framework focuses on Deep Learning frameworks and ample Cloud storage. It enables the framework to customize the unique requirements of each ML model based on the use cases.

#6 Experimentation and Monitoring

DevOps: In Azure DevOps vs MLOps, experimentation and monitoring take different forms. Here, the monitoring process tracks the health and performance of software or applications. The popular approaches in monitoring are SRE or Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and Conventional programming techniques.

MLOps: Machine Learning practices for continuous monitoring are more exploratory than Dev Ops. The monitoring process extends to the ML model’s performance on different inputs. This framework involves iterative experimentation that uses different data sets to fine-tune the performance of other ML models. Hence, Machine Learning models stay under constant monitoring to produce accurate results.

Bridging The Gap: MLOps vs DevOps

Wondering how to fill the gap between the two? Organizations can follow the tips below:

  • Establish a common goal for developers and operations teams with clear deadlines.
  • Promote cross-functionality among teams with smooth collaboration.
  • Maintain transparency about the business objectives among everyone.
  • Automate development workflows with continuous delivery and testing.
  • Increase performance efficiency with continuous validation of deployments.
  • Evaluate the ongoing processes and encourage experimentation.
  • Use tools explicitly developed for both frameworks to establish a smooth harmony.
  • Implement DevOps-based feedback loops to ensure continuous monitoring of ML models.

But which methodology should you integrate? Which methodology suits your business ecosystem?

Which One Do You Choose? The Future Of MLOps & DevOps

With DevOps and MLOps, DevOps consulting services are unveiling a world of possibilities for Machine Learning and Software Development. Many organizations are implementing these two methodologies to elevate the project outcomes:

  • It’s easy to find a balance by leveraging Machine Learning Operations to automate data analysis and using Agile Practices for the rest of the workflows.
  • Combining Machine Learning Ops tools with broader DevOps automation tools can lead to a well-optimized workflow with enhanced efficiency.

Now, choosing between the two depends on your project’s nature:

MLOps for Exploration: If experimentation and tuning are at the forefront of your AI/ML endeavor, Machine Learning Ops is a natural fit.

DevOps for Traditional Software: DevOps’ streamlined development and deployment processes benefit traditional software projects.

Final Thoughts On DevOps and MLOps

Hopefully, you now clearly understand all DevOps and MLOps concepts. Remember, the best approach between MLOps vs DevOps is the one that can fulfill your project requirements. In this dynamic landscape, your project’s success lies in finding the methodology that resonates with your team and objectives.


#1 Can DevOps handle ML model deployment?

DevOps can handle software deployment that is different from developing ML Models. Machine Learning Operations is the ideal solution, specializing in efficiently deploying and managing machine learning models.

#2 Is expertise in data science essential for MLOps?

Yes, Machine Learning Operations often require a deeper understanding of data science. Further, having prior knowledge of Azure DevOps vs MLOps can help the teams understand the complexity of managing ML models and their datasets.

#3 Is MLOps suitable for traditional software development?

No, Machine Learning Operations is the best approach for developing ML models. On the other hand, DevOps is well-suited for traditional software development projects. However, organizations can use a combined approach to automate the rapid deployment process.

#4 What challenges can I face in implementing MLOps?

Deployments with Machine Learning Operations face challenges related to deploying ML models and their dependencies. Models often require specific versions of libraries and frameworks, and their deployment may need to consider factors like GPU availability for efficient inference.

#5 Can we use DevOps tools in Machine Learning projects?

You can apply DevOps principles like Continuous Monitoring to your machine learning projects. However, MLOps specifically addresses the challenges inherent in managing machine learning models. So, choose DevOps practices that suit the existing workflows.

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Co-Founder & Director, Business Management
BDCC Global is a leading DevOps research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the DevOps world into our blogs.

About BDCC

BDCC Global is a leading DevOps research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the DevOps world into our blogs.