AI/ML, AWS, Cloud Computing

3 Mins Read

Choosing the Optimal Inference Approaches in Amazon SageMaker for ML Deployments


Amazon SageMaker, an all-encompassing machine learning platform, presents two distinct approaches for deploying machine learning models: Asynchronous Inference and Real-Time Inference. These two methods offer unique advantages and are crucial for data scientists and developers to comprehend. In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of Amazon SageMaker Asynchronous Inference and Real-Time Inference, examining their characteristics, benefits, and the specific scenarios where one excels over the other. This understanding will empower you to make informed decisions when deploying machine learning models, aligning them with the precise needs of your applications.


Amazon SageMaker Asynchronous Inference

Amazon SageMaker Asynchronous Inference is a method for deploying machine learning models where predictions are made separately from the model deployment process. This means that when a request for Inference is made, it doesn’t require an immediate response from the model. Instead, the request is placed in a queue, and the actual Inference happens later.

One of the primary advantages of Asynchronous Inference is its scalability. It allows you to process many inference requests concurrently, making it ideal for batch processing, such as handling large datasets. This scalability is particularly useful in scenarios like data preprocessing, where multiple requests must be handled simultaneously.

Moreover, Asynchronous Inference is cost-effective because it enables the efficient utilization of computing resources. You can optimize using Amazon SageMaker instances by queuing multiple inference requests, reducing the need for constantly running instances. This cost-efficiency makes it an attractive option for organizations with varying workloads.

Real-Time Inference

Real-Time Inference, on the other hand, focuses on immediate, low-latency model predictions. When a request for Inference is made, the response is generated in real-time, making it suitable for applications with critical low-latency predictions, such as recommendation systems, fraud detection, and chatbots.

The main advantage of Real-Time Inference is its responsiveness. It’s the right choice when your application requires instantaneous feedback or predictions to be integrated into a user interface, providing a seamless user experience.

However, Real-Time Inference might not be as cost-effective as Asynchronous Inference, especially when dealing with fluctuating workloads. In this approach, you need to keep Amazon SageMaker instances up and running to ensure quick responses to inference requests, which can lead to higher operational costs.

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Comparison between Amazon SageMaker Asynchronous Inference and Real-Time Inference

Latency and Responsiveness:

  • Asynchronous Inference: This method involves a delay between making an inference request and receiving a prediction. It’s designed for scenarios where immediate responses are not critical and some latency is acceptable.
  • Real-Time Inference: Real-Time Inference delivers low-latency predictions, making it suitable for applications requiring instant responses. It excels in interactive user experiences and real-time decision-making.

Scalability and Throughput:

  • Asynchronous Inference: It offers excellent scalability for processing multiple inference requests concurrently. This is ideal for batch processing and scenarios with large datasets or fluctuating workloads.
  • Real-Time Inference: While responsive, real-time Inference might not handle large bursts of requests as efficiently as asynchronous Inference. It’s better suited for consistent, moderate workloads.


  • Asynchronous Inference: It can be more cost-effective, particularly in scenarios with variable workloads. By queuing requests and optimizing resource usage, you can reduce operational costs.
  • Real-Time Inference: Real-time Inference can be costlier due to maintaining Amazon SageMaker instances running continuously to ensure low-latency responses.

Choosing the Right Approach

The decision to use Amazon SageMaker Asynchronous Inference or Real-Time Inference depends on the specific requirements of your machine learning application. Here are some factors to consider when making this choice:

Latency Requirements: Real-Time Inference is the way to go if your application demands low-latency predictions with immediate responses. On the other hand, if your use case can tolerate some delay, Asynchronous Inference provides the flexibility to optimize cost and resource usage.

Workload Characteristics: Consider the workload pattern. Asynchronous Inference can help you manage resources efficiently and reduce costs if you have a bursty or variable workload. In contrast, Real-Time Inference is suitable for constant and immediate workloads.

Use Case: The nature of your application matters. Real-Time Inference is better suited for applications where real-time decisions are critical. At the same time, Asynchronous Inference shines in scenarios like data preprocessing, offline batch processing, and handling large-scale inference tasks.


Amazon SageMaker offers both Asynchronous Inference and Real-Time Inference, each with distinct advantages and use cases. The choice between the two depends on your application requirements, including latency, workload patterns, and use case. By understanding the differences between these deployment methods, data scientists and developers can make informed decisions, optimizing their machine learning models for performance, cost-efficiency, and user experience.

Amazon SageMaker’s flexibility allows you to harness the power of both approaches, ensuring that your machine learning applications are deployed in a way that best serves your unique needs.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Asynchronous Inference and Real-Time Inference, and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. What are the key differences between Amazon SageMaker Asynchronous Inference and Real-Time Inference?

ANS: – Asynchronous Inference processes Inference requests separately from model deployment, allowing for delayed predictions, while Real-Time Inference provides immediate, low-latency predictions. Asynchronous Inference suits batch processing, data preprocessing, and scenarios with flexible latency requirements. Real-Time Inference is ideal for applications requiring quick responses and interactive user experiences.

2. How does cost factor into the decision between Asynchronous and Real-Time Inference?

ANS: – Asynchronous Inference is cost-effective for scenarios with variable workloads as you can efficiently manage resources, but it may introduce some delay. Real-Time Inference might be costlier due to the need to keep instances running continuously for low-latency predictions.

3. Can I use both Asynchronous and Real-Time Inference within the same application?

ANS: – Yes, Amazon SageMaker provides the flexibility to use both methods within the same application. You can choose the appropriate inference approach based on specific use cases within your application.

4. What machine learning models can be deployed using Amazon SageMaker Asynchronous and Real-Time Inference?

ANS: – Both approaches support a wide range of machine learning models, including traditional, deep learning, and custom models. Amazon SageMaker’s flexibility ensures you can deploy models trained in Amazon SageMaker or external sources.

WRITTEN BY Modi Shubham Rajeshbhai

Shubham Modi is working as a Research Associate - Data and AI/ML in CloudThat. He is a focused and very enthusiastic person, keen to learn new things in Data Science on the Cloud. He has worked on AWS, Azure, Machine Learning, and many more technologies.



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