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Open Source MLOps and LLMOps Orchestration with MLRun: Quick Start Tutorial

MLRun is an open-source MLOps and gen AI orchestration framework designed to manage and automate the machine learning lifecycle. This includes everything from data ingestion and preprocessing to model training, deployment and monitoring, as well as de-risking. MLRun provides a unified framework for data scientists and developers to transform their ML code into scalable, production-ready applications.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to get started with MLRun: creating a dataset, training the model, serving and deploying. You can also follow along by watching the video this blog post is based on or through the docs.

When starting your first MLRun project, don’t forget to star us on GitHub.

Now let’s get started.

Creating Your First MLRun Project

An MLRun project helps organize and manage the various components and stages of an ML or gen AI workflow in an automated and streamlined manner. It integrates components like datasets, code, models and configurations into a single container. By doing so, it supports collaboration, ensures version control, enhances reproducibility and allows for logging and monitoring.

  1. Install and import MLRun. More details on how to do it.
  2. Create a project with project = mlrun.get_or_create_project(name=”quick-tutorial”, user_project=True).

This will create the project object, which will be used to add and execute functions.

  1. Now for the dataset. This only requires a simple script with one Python function that grabs a dataset from scikit-learn and returns it as a pandas dataframe.



import pandas as pd

from sklearn.datasets import load_breast_cancer


def breast_cancer_generator():


    A function which generates the breast cancer dataset


    breast_cancer = load_breast_cancer()

    breast_cancer_dataset = pd.DataFrame(, columns=breast_cancer.feature_names


    breast_cancer_labels = pd.DataFrame(, columns=[“label”])

    breast_cancer_dataset = pd.concat(

        [breast_cancer_dataset, breast_cancer_labels], axis=1



    return breast_cancer_dataset, “label”

This is regular Python. MLRun will automatically log the returning data set and a label column name. 4. Create an MLRun function using project.set_function, together with the name of the Python file and parameters specifying requirements. These could include running the function as a job with a certain Docker image.

data_gen_fn = project.set_function(






)  # save the project with the latest config


  1. Save the project.
  2. Run the function with project.run_function together with the required parameters. For example, for running in a local environment, use (local=True), otherwise it runs at scale in Kubernetes. Notice the `returns` parameter where we specify what MLRun should log from the function’s returning objects.

gen_data_run = project.run_function(



    returns=[“dataset”, “label_column”],


  1. Open the MLRun UI.
  2. View artifacts like the logged data sets, the label column, metadata and more.

Training the Model

Now let’s see how to train a model using the dataset that we just created. Instead of creating a brand new MLRun function, we can import one from the MLRun function hub.

  1. Go to the function hub.

Here’s what it looks like:


You will find a number of useful and powerful functions out-of-the-box. We’ll use the Auto trainer function.

  1. Import it by pointing to the marketplace and specifying the function name:

# Import the function

trainer = mlrun.import_function(“hub://auto_trainer”)

In this case, one of the parameters is the data set from our previous run.

trainer_run = project.run_function(


    inputs={“dataset”: data_prep_run.outputs[“dataset”]},


        “model_class”: “sklearn.ensemble.RandomForestClassifier”,

        “train_test_split_size”: 0.2,

        “label_columns”: data_prep_run.results[“label_column”],

        “model_name”: “breast_cancer_classifier”,





The default is local=false, which means it will run behind the scenes on Kubernetes.

You will be able to see the pod and the print out statements.

  1. Open the MLRun UI, which will display more details and artifacts. For example, the parameters passed in the evaluation metrics, the model itself and more.

Serving the Model

Now we can serve the trained model.

  1. Type mlrun.new_function and select the kind as serving.

serving_fn = mlrun.new_function(







  1. Add your model to the serving function using serving_fun.add_model and the path to the model.
  • The path to the model is the output of the training job.
  • The class name specifies the model’s serving class where the API is.. There are built-in classes in MLRun, like the SciKit-Learn model server, in this example.







In this example, we are using sklearn. But you can choose your preferred framework from this list:

Or customize your own. You can read more about this in the docs.

The example below shows a simple, singular model. There are also more advanced models that include steps for data enrichment, pre-processing, post-processing, data transformations, aggregations and more.

Read more about real-time serving here.

  1. Test the serving function using a mock server that simulates the model deployment. This allows making sure everything is behaving as expected without having to deploy.

# Create a mock (simulator of the real-time function)

server = serving_fn.to_mock_server()

Use the mock server `test` method (server.test) to test the model server.

The last part of the code is the model server, which you can send data inputs to and acts exactly like a model server.

Deploying the Model

Finally, it’s time to deploy to production with a single line of code.

  1. Use the `deploy` method:


This will take the code, all the parameters, the pre- and post-processing, etc., package them up in a container deployed on Kubernetes and expose them to an endpoint. The endpoint contains your transformation, pre- and post-processing, business logic, etc. This is all deployed at once, while supporting rolling upgrades, scale, etc.

  1. Now, send data and see if you get a response as expected. Use the serving function `invoke` method (serving_fn.invoke) to send data from the notebook.

That’s it! You now know how to use MLRun to manage and deploy ML models. As you can see, MLRun is more than just training and deploying models to an endpoint. It is an open source machine learning platform that helps build a production-ready application that includes everything from data transformations to your business logic to the model deployments to a lot more.

Start using MLRun today.

Get more tutorials here.

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