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How to Deploy Your Own AI Large Language Model

Building a robust AI infrastructure is a key prerequisite for successfully leveraging AI technologies in your organization. Different deployment strategies, including private, hybrid, and public clouds, can provide distinct benefits and suit different organizational needs. Here’s a closer look at each one:

  1. Private Deployment (On-Premises):

    In this model, the organization hosts and manages its own data centers. This is often chosen by organizations that have stringent data security requirements, such as financial institutions or healthcare providers.
    • Advantages: High level of control over the data and infrastructure, with potential for better performance and lower latency as the servers are often physically closer. Data security and privacy are easier to manage as the data doesn’t leave the organization’s premises.
    • Disadvantages: High upfront costs for setting up the infrastructure. The organization also needs to have the capability to maintain and upgrade the hardware as required, which can be resource-intensive.
  2. Public Cloud:

    In this model, organizations utilize infrastructure provided by third-party cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or Microsoft Azure.
    • Advantages:

      Lower upfront costs as it uses a pay-as-you-go model. Public clouds also offer great scalability and flexibility, as resources can be quickly ramped up or down based on demand. The cloud provider handles infrastructure maintenance and updates, freeing up the organization to focus on its core business.
    • Disadvantages:

      Potentially higher ongoing costs over the long term. Some organizations may also have concerns about data security, compliance, and vendor lock-in.
  3. Hybrid Cloud:

    This model combines elements of both private and public clouds. For example, an organization might use a private cloud or on-premises servers for sensitive data and operations, while using public cloud services for less sensitive tasks or to handle spikes in demand.
    • Advantages:

      It offers a balance between the control of private deployment and the flexibility and scalability of public cloud. Organizations can optimize where applications are run based on performance, security, and cost considerations.
    • Disadvantages:

      It can be complex to manage and integrate the different components of a hybrid cloud. There may also be issues around data sovereignty and compliance, especially if data needs to be moved between private and public components.

A crucial aspect when building an AI infrastructure is considering data storage, processing power (especially if dealing with large datasets or complex models), network bandwidth, and the tools and platforms needed to develop and deploy AI models. The decision between private, public, and hybrid deployment will depend on the organization’s specific needs, resources, and constraints.

A Practice Example: How to Setup Your Own Large Language Model

Let’s consider a scenario where an organization is planning to deploy a large language model (LLM). The following table provides an overview of the advantages, disadvantages, and considerations for each deployment option:

Deployment TypeAdvantagesDisadvantagesCostPrivacyPerformanceEase of DeploymentData Requirements
Private (On-Premises)High control over data and infrastructure, potential for better performance and lower latency.High upfront costs, maintenance and upgrading can be resource-intensive.High upfront and ongoing costs for infrastructure, maintenance, and personnel.Highest privacy as data doesn’t leave the premises.High, but depends on the quality of infrastructure and network.Complex, requires in-house expertise to set up and manage.Handles large datasets well, but data storage and processing infrastructure must be adequately provisioned.
Public CloudLower upfront costs, high scalability and flexibility, maintenance handled by the cloud provider.Potentially higher ongoing costs, possible concerns about data security and vendor lock-in.Pay-as-you-go model, potentially high ongoing costs for large-scale use.Lower as data is hosted on third-party servers, though encryption and security protocols are generally robust.Generally high, but can vary based on the cloud provider’s infrastructure and network.Easier, with many tools and services provided by the cloud platform.Can handle large datasets, but data transfer to the cloud can be time-consuming and costly.
Hybrid CloudBalance between control and flexibility, can optimize based on performance, security, and cost.Can be complex to manage and integrate, potential issues around data sovereignty and compliance.Varies, depending on the mix of private and public components.High for private component, lower for public component.High for private component, varies for public component.Moderate, requires managing and integrating both private and public components.Can handle large datasets, but movement of data between private and public components must be managed.

In all cases, deploying a LLM requires careful planning and management of data storage and processing resources, given the large size of the model and the potentially large volume of data it will process. The organization also needs to ensure it has the necessary skills and tools to develop, deploy, and maintain the LLM, regardless of the deployment method chosen.

Deployment options for Amazon, Microsoft and Google based architectures:

Source Microsoft: Chat Bot Architecture

When deploying AI technologies like a Large Language Model (LLM) on major cloud platforms such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, specific architectural considerations can help optimize the deployment process. Let’s delve into both private and hybrid cloud deployment scenarios:

Private Deployment

In a private cloud scenario, you can leverage services that allow for a private, dedicated environment within the public cloud. This is suitable if you want the advantages of the scalability and broad service offering of the public cloud, but need a single-tenant environment due to regulatory, compliance, or security requirements.

  • AWS:

    You could use AWS Outposts, which extends AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to virtually any datacenter, co-location space, or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience. Also, consider the use of Amazon SageMaker for developing, training, and deploying ML models.
  • Azure:

    Azure Stack is a similar service that offers Azure services for your on-premises environment. For AI workloads, you could leverage Azure Machine Learning service, which provides a cloud-based environment for training, deploying, automating, managing, and tracking ML models.
  • Google Cloud:

    Google Anthos offers a consistent development and operations experience for both on-premises and cloud environments. For AI workloads, Google’s AI Platform is a unified platform that makes it easy for ML developers, data scientists, and data engineers to take their ML projects from ideation to production and deployment quickly and cost-effectively.

Watch-outs/Lessons Learned: Ensure that your on-premises infrastructure is sufficient for the cloud services you want to extend. On-premises environments must meet certain network, storage, and compute capacity requirements. Also, consider the skills required to manage these systems – additional training may be needed to fully leverage these services.

Source Amazon AWS

Hybrid Deployment

In a hybrid cloud scenario, you’re using both private (on-premises) and public cloud resources. The architecture should be designed to optimize performance, cost, and security.

  • AWS:

    AWS Direct Connect can provide a dedicated network connection from your premises to AWS. You might also want to consider AWS Transit Gateway for a simplified network architecture, and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for secure access control.
  • Azure:

    Azure ExpressRoute can provide a private, dedicated network connection to Azure datacenters. Azure Virtual Network could be useful for launching isolated, private networks within Azure, and Azure Active Directory for managing identities and access control.
  • Google Cloud:

    For a hybrid deployment, Google Cloud Interconnect offers a direct network peering between your infrastructure and Google’s. And for controlling access, Google Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) is very useful.

Watch-outs/Lessons Learned: The management of a hybrid cloud can be complex, especially when integrating different services across on-premises and public cloud environments. Ensure you have a robust governance strategy, and be aware of potential security risks – particularly when transferring data between environments. Having a clear data classification strategy can help in this regard.

Public Cloud Deployment:

Public cloud deployment can offer scalability, flexibility, and a range of services that are typically more cost-effective and easier to get started with than building equivalent infrastructure in-house. Major platforms such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud provide a wealth of tools and resources to facilitate the deployment, management, and scaling of AI applications like Large Language Models (LLMs).

However, while the public cloud offers many benefits, there are also potential challenges and watch-outs to be aware of:

  • Data Security and Compliance:

    Although public cloud providers offer robust security features, organizations are ultimately responsible for their own data security. You should be aware of who can access your data and ensure that it is appropriately protected. Additionally, you need to understand the compliance requirements of your specific industry, as certain data may be regulated by laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Vendor Lock-In:

    Each cloud provider uses its own unique technologies and platforms, which may not be compatible with those of other providers. This can make it difficult to switch providers or use multiple providers, which can lead to vendor lock-in. While this might not be an immediate issue, it could limit your flexibility in the future.
  • Cost Management:

    While public cloud services often reduce upfront costs, the pay-as-you-go pricing model can lead to high costs if usage is not properly monitored and managed. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on usage to avoid any cost overruns.
  • Operational Complexity:

    Deploying and managing applications in the cloud can require new skills and approaches. You may need to invest in training or new hires to effectively leverage the cloud. Furthermore, managing applications across multiple regions or providers can increase operational complexity.

Despite these challenges, the public cloud remains an attractive option for deploying AI technologies due to its combination of flexibility, scalability, and extensive service offerings. It’s all about balancing the benefits and challenges to find the best approach for your specific needs.

Deployment TypePlatformRecommended ServicesKey Strengths
PrivateAWSAWS Outposts, Amazon SageMakerHigh availability and durability; Reliable data encryption
PrivateAzureAzure Stack, Azure Machine LearningIntegration with existing Microsoft services; Great enterprise-level security features
PrivateGoogle CloudGoogle Anthos, Google’s AI PlatformModernization of existing applications; Efficient AI/ML services
HybridAWSAWS Direct Connect, AWS Transit Gateway, AWS IAMScalability and flexibility; Comprehensive security capabilities
HybridAzureAzure ExpressRoute, Azure Virtual Network, Azure Active DirectorySeamless integration with on-premises systems; Identity and access management
HybridGoogle CloudGoogle Cloud Interconnect, Google Cloud IAMCompatibility with multi-cloud environments; Robust security and access management
PublicAWSAmazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon SageMakerBroad set of tools and services; Strong AI/ML capabilities
PublicAzureAzure Virtual Machines, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Machine LearningSeamless integration with other Microsoft products; Well-suited for enterprise needs
PublicGoogle CloudGoogle Cloud Engine, Google Cloud Storage, Google’s AI PlatformCost-effectiveness; Leading AI/ML services

Regardless of the approach, always remember that your architectural choices should be driven by the specific needs of your organization. Reviewing and learning from the experiences of early adopters can provide valuable insights to avoid common pitfalls and accelerate your AI deployment journey.

CDO Times Bottom Line

Selecting the right deployment model – whether private, public, or hybrid cloud – is an essential prerequisite for successfully leveraging AI technologies within an organization. Each model carries its unique advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Private Deployment (On-Premises) provides a high degree of control and data security, beneficial for organizations with stringent requirements. However, it necessitates high upfront costs and resource-intensive maintenance.
  2. Public Cloud offers scalability and flexibility with lower initial costs. It can also free up resources by leaving infrastructure maintenance to third-party providers. However, it might result in higher long-term costs and potential concerns about data security.
  3. Hybrid Cloud provides a balanced blend of control and flexibility, allowing organizations to optimize based on performance, security, and cost. Still, the management and integration of various components can be complex.

In the case of deploying a large language model (LLM), careful management of data storage and processing resources is crucial. Regardless of the deployment strategy, having the necessary skills and tools to develop, deploy, and maintain the LLM is paramount. Remember, the choice of deployment should align with the organization’s specific needs, resources, and long-term business goals.

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Carsten Krause

As the CDO of The CDO TIMES I am dedicated delivering actionable insights to our readers, explore current and future trends that are relevant to leaders and organizations undertaking digital transformation efforts. Besides writing about these topics we also help organizations make sense of all of the puzzle pieces and deliver actionable roadmaps and capabilities to stay future proof leveraging technology. Contact us at: to get in touch.

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