TensorFlow Serving, sources - library for serving machine learning models. Written in C++ and Python. Server is in C++. Requires Bazel - Google’s build tool. Doesn’t work with python 3. Probably fast.

TensorFlow: How to freeze a model and serve it with a python API

Building a Machine Learning App with AWS Lambda (slides)

Pipeline.io - End-to-End, Continuous Spark ML + Tensorflow AI Data Pipelines, Sources

Interesting thread. They propose to use “saved_model_cli binary (in tools/), which you can feed a SavedModel, and pass input data via files.”

TensorFlow Serving

TensorFlow Serving is build using Bazel - a build tool from Google.

Architecture overview

Basic serving Hmmm

Bazel can build binaries from several languages. Output of the build is a directory with binaries and all the dependencies. So after building TensorFlow Serving you get a bazel-bin softlink. It ponts to a directory /home/<your user>/.cache that seemingly contains all the binaries that the server/client needs. Python scripts are also wrapped into some launcher scripts.

It seems that bazel automatically downloads some pre-built binaries implicitly.

I was able to build tensorflow in a docker as explained here. I am not very happy about the size of the docker image (several GB).

bazel-bin directory can be extracted from the docker and binaries can be executed outside of the docker (on Ubuntu machine in works for me).

Compiled examples for tensorflow serving

Download compiled examples here and extract files:

tar xf ./bazel-bin.tar.gz

The package contains compiled tensorflow serving app and example apps.

I prefer to run it in python virtual environment. Let’s create one and install needed packages:

virtualenv -p python2.7 py2
source ./py2/bin/activate
pip install numpy mock grpcio

To make compiled scripts use python from virtual environment we should patch wrapper files. For example bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_saved_model is a wrapper script for mnist_saved_model.py.

We will change path to python that that wrapper uses. Use text editor to edit the wrapper. I use nano:

nano bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_saved_model 


PYTHON_BINARY = '/usr/bin/python'


PYTHON_BINARY = 'python'

save and exit. We will need to do that for each wrapper we want to run.

The same action for all files is acheivable using command line editor (click here to see)
find . -maxdepth 1 -type f | xargs sed -i.original "s|PYTHON_BINARY = '/usr/bin/python'|PYTHON_BINARY = 'python'|g"

Now we can run a commands from Tensorflow Serving tutorial:

bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_saved_model --training_iteration=100 --model_version=1 /tmp/mnist_model

Possible issues

ImportError: No module named grpc.beta


sudo pip install grpcio

Copied from docker python scripts seems to be chained to global system python. Thus installing grpcio inside an active virtualenv doesn’t work.

ImportError: No module named numpy

Solution: install numpy using pip install numpy and make sure you use appropriate version of python.

By default “compiled” versions of python scripts from tensorflow serving use python from /usr/bin/python. If you want to use another version patch wrapper files accordingly.

tensorflow.python.framework.errors_impl.NotFoundError: … _single_image_random_dot_stereograms.so: undefined symbol …

Probably there is a but in examples. Error message example:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/home/usr/serving/bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_export.runfiles/tf_serving/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_export.py", line 36, in <module>
    from tensorflow.contrib.session_bundle import exporter
  File "/home/usr/serving/bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_export.runfiles/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/contrib/__init__.py", line 34, in <module>
    from tensorflow.contrib import image
  File "/home/usr/serving/bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_export.runfiles/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/contrib/image/__init__.py", line 39, in <module>
    from tensorflow.contrib.image.python.ops.single_image_random_dot_stereograms import single_image_random_dot_stereograms
  File "/home/usr/serving/bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_export.runfiles/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/contrib/image/python/ops/single_image_random_dot_stereograms.py", line 26, in <module>
  File "/home/usr/serving/bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_export.runfiles/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/contrib/util/loader.py", line 55, in load_op_library
    ret = load_library.load_op_library(path)
  File "/home/usr/serving/bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_export.runfiles/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/python/framework/load_library.py", line 64, in load_op_library
    None, None, error_msg, error_code)
tensorflow.python.framework.errors_impl.NotFoundError: /home/usr/serving/bazel-bin/tensorflow_serving/example/mnist_export.runfiles/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/contrib/image/python/ops/_single_image_random_dot_stereograms.so: undefined symbol: _ZN6google8protobuf8internal10LogMessageC1ENS0_8LogLevelEPKci


comment out

#from tensorflow.contrib.image.python.ops.single_image_random_dot_stereograms import single_image_random_dot_stereograms




See also