Amazon SageMaker Feature Store now supports cross-account sharing, discovery, and access

Amazon SageMaker Feature Store is a fully managed, purpose-built repository to store, share, and manage features for machine learning (ML) models. Features are inputs to ML models used during training and inference. For example, in an application that recommends a music playlist, features could include song ratings, listening duration, and listener demographics. Features are used repeatedly by multiple teams, and feature quality is critical to ensure a highly accurate model. Also, when features used to train models offline in batch are made available for real-time inference, it’s hard to keep the two feature stores synchronized. SageMaker Feature Store provides a secured and unified store to process, standardize, and use features at scale across the ML lifecycle. SageMaker Feature Store now makes it effortless to share, discover, and access feature groups across AWS accounts. This new capability promotes collaboration and minimizes duplicate work for teams involved in ML model and application development, particularly in enterprise environments with multiple accounts spanning different business units or functions. With this launch, account owners can grant access to select feature groups by other accounts using AWS Resource Access Manager (AWS RAM). After they’re granted access, users of those accounts can conveniently view all of their feature groups, including the shared ones, through Amazon SageMaker Studio or SDKs. This enables teams to discover and utilize features developed by other teams, fostering knowledge sharing and efficiency. Additionally, usage details of shared resources can be monitored with Amazon CloudWatch and AWS CloudTrail. For a deep dive, refer to Cross account feature group discoverability and access. In this post, we discuss the why and how of a centralized feature store with cross-account access. We show how to set it up and run a sample demonstration, as well as the benefits you can get by using this new capability in your organization. Who needs a cross-account feature store Organizations need to securely share features across teams to build accurate ML models, while preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data. SageMaker Feature Store now allows granular sharing of features across accounts via AWS RAM, enabling collaborative model development with governance. SageMaker Feature Store provides purpose-built storage and management for ML features used during training and inferencing. With cross-account support, you can now selectively share features stored in one AWS account with other accounts in your organization. For example, the analytics team may curate features like customer profile, transaction history, and product catalogs in a central management account. These need to be securely accessed by ML developers in other departments like marketing, fraud detection, and so on to build models. The following are key benefits of sharing ML features across accounts: Consistent and reusable features – Centralized sharing of curated features improves model accuracy by providing consistent input data to train on. Teams can discover and directly consume features created by others instead of duplicating them in each account. Feature group access control – You can grant access to only the specific feature groups required for an account’s use case. For example, the marketing team may only get access to the customer profile feature group needed for recommendation models. Collaboration across teams – Shared features allow disparate teams like fraud, marketing, and sales to collaborate on building ML models using the same reliable data instead of creating siloed features. Audit trail for compliance – Administrators can monitor feature usage by all accounts centrally using CloudTrail event logs. This provides an audit trail required for governance and compliance. Delineating producers from consumers in cross-account feature stores In the realm of machine learning, the feature store acts as a crucial bridge, connecting those who supply data with those who harness it. This dichotomy can be effectively managed using a cross-account setup for the feature store. Let’s demystify this using the following personas and a real-world analogy: Data and ML engineers (owners and producers) – They lay the groundwork by feeding data into the feature store Data scientists (consumers) – They extract and utilize this data to craft their models Data engineers serve as architects sketching the initial blueprint. Their task is to construct and oversee efficient data pipelines. Drawing data from source systems, they mold raw data attributes into discernable features. Take “age” for instance. Although it merely represents the span between now and one’s birthdate, its interpretation might vary across an organization. Ensuring quality, uniformity, and consistency is paramount here. Their aim is to feed data into a centralized feature store, establishing it as the undisputed reference point. ML engineers refine these foundational features, tailoring them for mature ML workflows. In the context of banking, they might deduce statistical insights from account balances, identifying trends and flow patterns. The hurdle they often face is redundancy. It’s common to see repetitive feature creation pipelines across diverse ML initiatives. Imagine data scientists as gourmet chefs scouting a well-stocked pantry, seeking the best ingredients for their next culinary masterpiece. Their time should be invested in crafting innovative data recipes, not in reassembling the pantry. The hurdle at this juncture is discovering the right data. A user-friendly interface, equipped with efficient search tools and comprehensive feature descriptions, is indispensable. In essence, a cross-account feature store setup meticulously segments the roles of data producers and consumers, ensuring efficiency, clarity, and innovation. Whether you’re laying the foundation or building atop it, knowing your role and tools is pivotal. The following diagram shows two different data scientist teams, from two different AWS accounts, who share and use the same central feature store to select the best features needed to build their ML models. The central feature store is located in a different account managed by data engineers and ML engineers, where the data governance layer and data lake are usually situated. Cross-account feature group controls With SageMaker Feature Store, you can share feature group resources across accounts. The resource owner account shares resources with the resource consumer accounts. There are two distinct categories of permissions associated with sharing resources: Discoverability permissions – Discoverability means being able to see feature group names and metadata. When you grant discoverability permission, all feature group entities in the account that you share from (resource owner account) become discoverable by the accounts that you are sharing with (resource consumer accounts). For example, if you make the resource owner account discoverable by the resource consumer account, then principals of the resource consumer account can see all feature groups contained in the resource owner account. This permission is granted to resource consumer accounts by using the SageMaker catalog resource type. Access permissions – When you grant an access permission, you do so at the feature group resource level (not the account level). This gives you more granular control over granting access to data. The type of access permissions that can be granted are read-only, read/write, and admin. For example, you can select only certain feature groups from the resource owner account to be accessible by principals of the resource consumer account, depending on your business needs. This permission is granted to resource consumer accounts by using the feature group resource type and specifying feature group entities. The following example diagram visualizes sharing the SageMaker catalog resource type granting the discoverability permission vs. sharing a feature group resource type entity with access permissions. The SageMaker catalog contains all of your feature group entities. When granted a discoverability permission, the resource consumer account can search and discover all feature group entities within the resource owner account. A feature group entity contains your ML data. When granted an access permission, the resource consumer account can access the feature group data, with access determined by the relevant access permission. Solution overview Complete the following steps to securely share features between accounts using SageMaker Feature Store: In the source (owner) account, ingest datasets and prepare normalized features. Organize related features into logical groups called feature groups. Create a resource share to grant cross-account access to specific feature groups. Define allowed actions like get and put, and restrict access only to authorized accounts. In the target (consumer) accounts, accept the AWS RAM invitation to access shared features. Review the access policy to understand permissions granted. Developers in target accounts can now retrieve shared features using the SageMaker SDK, join with additional data, and use them to train ML models. The source account can monitor access to shared features by all accounts using CloudTrail event logs. Audit logs provide centralized visibility into feature usage. With…

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