Deploy a model to Azure Container Instances

Learn how to use Azure Machine Learning to deploy a model as a web service on Azure Container Instances (ACI). Use Azure Container Instances if one of the following conditions is true:

  • You need to quickly deploy and validate your model. You do not need to create ACI containers ahead of time. They are created as part of the deployment process.
  • You are testing a model that is under development.

For information on quota and region availability for ACI, see Quotas and region availability for Azure Container Instances article.


It is highly advised to debug locally before deploying to the web service, for more information see Debug Locally

You can also refer to Azure Machine Learning - Deploy to Local Notebook



  • When using Azure Container Instances in a virtual network, the virtual network must be in the same resource group as your Azure Machine Learning workspace.
  • When using Azure Container Instances inside the virtual network, the Azure Container Registry (ACR) for your workspace cannot also be in the virtual network.

For more information, see How to secure inferencing with virtual networks.

Deploy to ACI

To deploy a model to Azure Container Instances, create a deployment configuration that describes the compute resources needed. For example, number of cores and memory. You also need an inference configuration, which describes the environment needed to host the model and web service. For more information on creating the inference configuration, see How and where to deploy models.


  • ACI is suitable only for small models that are under 1 GB in size.
  • We recommend using single-node AKS to dev-test larger models.
  • The number of models to be deployed is limited to 1,000 models per deployment (per container).

Using the SDK

from azureml.core.webservice import AciWebservice, Webservice
from azureml.core.model import Model

deployment_config = AciWebservice.deploy_configuration(cpu_cores = 1, memory_gb = 1)
service = Model.deploy(ws, "aciservice", [model], inference_config, deployment_config)
service.wait_for_deployment(show_output = True)

For more information on the classes, methods, and parameters used in this example, see the following reference documents:

Using the CLI

To deploy using the CLI, use the following command. Replace mymodel:1 with the name and version of the registered model. Replace myservice with the name to give this service:

az ml model deploy -m mymodel:1 -n myservice -ic inferenceconfig.json -dc deploymentconfig.json

The entries in the deploymentconfig.json document map to the parameters for AciWebservice.deploy_configuration. The following table describes the mapping between the entities in the JSON document and the parameters for the method:

JSON entity Method parameter Description
computeType NA The compute target. For ACI, the value must be ACI.
containerResourceRequirements NA Container for the CPU and memory entities.
  cpu cpu_cores The number of CPU cores to allocate. Defaults, 0.1
  memoryInGB memory_gb The amount of memory (in GB) to allocate for this web service. Default, 0.5
location location The Azure region to deploy this Webservice to. If not specified the Workspace location will be used. More details on available regions can be found here: ACI Regions
authEnabled auth_enabled Whether to enable auth for this Webservice. Defaults to False
sslEnabled ssl_enabled Whether to enable SSL for this Webservice. Defaults to False.
appInsightsEnabled enable_app_insights Whether to enable AppInsights for this Webservice. Defaults to False
sslCertificate ssl_cert_pem_file The cert file needed if SSL is enabled
sslKey ssl_key_pem_file The key file needed if SSL is enabled
cname ssl_cname The cname for if SSL is enabled
dnsNameLabel dns_name_label The dns name label for the scoring endpoint. If not specified a unique dns name label will be generated for the scoring endpoint.

The following JSON is an example deployment configuration for use with the CLI:

    "computeType": "aci",
        "cpu": 0.5,
        "memoryInGB": 1.0
    "authEnabled": true,
    "sslEnabled": false,
    "appInsightsEnabled": false

For more information, see the az ml model deploy reference.

Using VS Code

See deploy your models with VS Code.


You don't need to create an ACI container to test in advance. ACI containers are created as needed.

Next steps