The following excerpt is from a post originally published in 2018 on the Docker blog.
BCG Gamma is a global team of world-class data scientists who build data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence solutions for the firm’s clients. But building and shipping analytics, ML and AI applications to clients is challenging. Andrea Gallego, CTO of the division, is charged with creating an infrastructure that can support delivering high-quality ML and AI models at scale.
The Challenge: Shipping ML and AI Software to Clients at Scale
The big question on her mind was how BCG Gamma could not only build models, but deliver them to clients at the edge with real-time orchestration, monitoring and updates. GDPR and other regulations also meant she had to do this while ensuring integrity, consistency and lineage across data models.
Andrea and her team launched the BCG GammaX initiative, a core team of 30 engineers specializing in analytics software engineering, data engineering, UX design, distributed systems, and machine learning engineering. Their charter: build the software and systems to support the rest of the Gamma team.
A Fast Build and Ship Process for Complex AI and ML Models
They turned to Docker Enterprise to help them automate the process of building and delivering AI and ML models to their clients. With Docker Enterprise, BCG has been able to:
Quickly build and ship customized AI and ML models to clients
Maintain software consistency between internal development and external customer production environments
Assure regulatory compliance with GDPR
The Docker Enterprise container platform met BCG’s unique requirements for a mirrored software repository and delivery to the edge, and also allowed BCG to customize the implementation to meet their needs.
Today, Docker Enterprise allows BCG Gamma’s data scientists to build and quickly share initial models with clients, run tests, and then ship final models in Docker containers to the client site.
The team created a software supply chain with Docker Trusted Registry to manage delivery with a mirrored instance to control delivery to clients. This also allows the team to verify image consistency even after the software is deployed, which ties back to meeting compliance requirements. With DTR’s promotion model, the team saves time and guarantees the quality of their software by avoiding labor-intensive rebuilds.
With Docker Enterprise, BCG Gamma can also run its models in containers anywhere. They deploy containers on Kubernetes using Docker Enterprise’s integrated support, and currently run internal systems on AWS (but could easily run them anywhere else).
Each application BCG Gamma builds typically runs across 20 containers. With the supporting infrastructure, they have quickly ramped to over 200 containers, and are adding more regularly.
Docker Enterprise has helped BCG Gamma scale to deliver AI and ML applications to their customers. With Docker Enterprise, BCG Gamma engineers can make changes completely independent of the underlying infrastructure and other dependencies. The team can also roll out new tools, or even experiment and test ideas quickly on Docker Desktop, getting feedback in an hour or two. That lets them make changes and develop new applications much more efficiently.
Docker Enables BCG to deliver AI and ML Applications Faster
Deliver top-notch analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to clients at the edge with real-time orchestration, monitoring and updates — all while ensuring integrity, consistency and provenance for GDPR compliance without visibility into the client infrastructure.
A secure software supply chain with Docker Enterprise with a mirrored instance of the image repository to control delivery to clients. This also allows the team to verify image consistency even after the software is deployed, which ties back to meeting compliance requirements.
Today, Docker Enterprise enables BCG Gamma’s data scientists to build and quickly share initial models with clients, run tests and then ship final models in Docker containers to the client site — saving time and ensuring software quality.
BCG by the Numbers
500 Data Scientists $6.3 Billion Revenue “In the age of GDPR compliance, Docker Enterprise allows us to use image signing to securely deploy and update applications very quickly to our clients while maintaining provenance across both data and applications with full lifecycle management.”
— Andrea Gallego, CTO
Principal Software Architect for Data Science and Analytics