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HomeArtificial Intelligence and Machine LearningDeploy Falcon-40B with large model inference DLCs on Amazon SageMaker

Deploy Falcon-40B with large model inference DLCs on Amazon SageMaker

Last week, Technology Innovation Institute (TII) launched TII Falcon LLM, an open-source foundational large language model (LLM). Trained on 1 trillion tokens with Amazon SageMaker, Falcon boasts top-notch performance (#1 on the Hugging Face leaderboard at time of writing) while being comparatively lightweight and less expensive to host than other LLMs such as llama-65B. In this post, we demonstrate how to deploy Falcon for applications like language understanding and automated writing assistance using large model inference deep learning containers on SageMaker.

The Falcon has landed on SageMaker

TII is the applied research organization within Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council; its team of scientists, researchers, and engineers is dedicated to the discovery of transformative technologies and development of scientific breakthroughs that will future-proof our society. Earlier this year, TII set out to train a state-of-the-art, open-source LLM and used the infrastructure, tooling, and expertise of SageMaker to get the job done (to learn more about how this model was trained on SageMaker, refer to Technology Innovation Institute trains the state-of-the-art Falcon LLM 40B foundation model on Amazon SageMaker). The result of this effort is TII Falcon LLM.

Trained on 1 trillion tokens, Falcon boasts top-notch performance against the Eleuther AI Language Model Evaluation Harness and is currently #1 on the Hugging Face leaderboard for accuracy. The model is available in two different sizes—Falcon-40B and Falcon-7B—and can be used for state-of-the-art performance in applications such as language understanding, conversational experiences, and automated writing assistance. This post will help you get started with deploying Falcon on SageMaker for high-accuracy inference in these types of domains.

SageMaker large model inference DLCs simplify LLM hosting

Hosting LLMs such as Falcon-40B and Falcon-7B can be challenging. Larger models are often more accurate because they include billions of parameters, but their size can also result in slower inference latency or worse throughput. Hosting an LLM can require more GPU memory and optimized kernels to achieve acceptable performance. To further complicate things, although smaller models such as Falcon-7B can generally fit on a single GPU such as an NVIDIA A10G instance that powers AWS G5 instance types, larger models like Falcon-40B cannot. When this happens, strategies such as tensor parallelism must be used to shard that larger model into multiple pieces and take advantage of the memory of multiple GPUs. Legacy hosting solutions used for smaller models typically don’t offer this type of functionality, adding to the difficulty.

SageMaker large model inference (LMI) deep learning containers (DLCs) can help. LMI DLCs are a complete end-to-end solution for hosting LLMs like Falcon-40B. At the front end, they include a high-performance model server (DJL Serving) designed for large model inference with features such as token streaming and automatic model replication within an instance to increase throughput. On the backend, LMI DLCs also include several high-performance model parallel engines, such as DeepSpeed and FasterTransformer, that can shard and manage model parameters across multiple GPUs. These engines also include optimized kernels for popular transformer models, which can accelerate inference by up to three times faster. With LMI DLCs, you simply need to create a configuration file to get started with LLM hosting on SageMaker. To learn more about SageMaker LMI DLCs, refer to Model parallelism and large model inference and our list of available images. You can also check out our previous post about hosting Bloom-175B on SageMaker using LMI DLCs.

Solution overview

This post walks you through how to host Falcon-40B using DeepSpeed on SageMaker using LMI DLCs. Falcon-40B requires that we use multiple A10 GPUs, whereas Falcon-7B only requires a single GPU. We have also prepared examples you can reference to host Falcon-40B and Falcon-7B using both DeepSpeed and Accelerate. You can find our code examples on GitHub.

This example can be run in SageMaker notebook instances or Amazon SageMaker Studio notebooks. For hosting Falcon-40B using LMI and DeepSpeed, we need to use an ml.g5.24xlarge instance. These instances provide 4x NVIDIA A10G GPUs, which each support 96 GiB of GPU memory. In addition, the host provides 96 vCPUs and 384 GiB of host memory. The LMI container will help address much of the undifferentiated heavy lifting associated with hosting LLMs, including downloading the model and partitioning the model artifact so that its comprising parameters can be spread across multiple GPUs.

Quotas for SageMaker machine learning (ML) instances can vary between accounts. If you receive an error indicating you’ve exceeded your quota for g5.24xlarge instances while following this post, you can increase the limit through the Service Quotas console.

Notebook walkthrough

To begin, we start by installing and importing the necessary dependencies for our example. We use the Boto3 SDK as well as the SageMaker SDK. Note that we use Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store the model artifacts that we need for SageMaker and LMI to use, so we set up an S3 prefix variable accordingly. See the following code:

import sagemaker
import jinja2
from sagemaker import image_uris
import boto3
import os
import time
import json
from pathlib import Path
from sagemaker.utils import name_from_base

role = sagemaker.get_execution_role() # execution role for the endpoint
sess = sagemaker.session.Session() # sagemaker session for interacting with different AWS APIs
bucket = sess.default_bucket() # bucket to house artifacts
model_bucket = sess.default_bucket() # bucket to house artifacts
s3_code_prefix_deepspeed = “hf-large-model-djl-/code_falcon40b/deepspeed” # folder within bucket where code artifact will go
region = sess._region_name
account_id = sess.account_id()
s3_client = boto3.client(“s3”)
sm_client = boto3.client(“sagemaker”)
smr_client = boto3.client(“sagemaker-runtime”)
jinja_env = jinja2.Environment()

We then create a local folder for our workspace to store our model artifacts:

!mkdir -p code_falcon40b_deepspeed

We first create a configuration file in the local directory we created. This file indicates to the LMI container and the front-end DJL Serving library which model parallelization and inference optimization engine we want to use. You can find the configuration options for both DeepSpeed and Hugging Face Accelerate in Configurations and settings. Here, note that we set the option.model_id parameter to define which Hugging Face model to pull from. SageMaker makes working with Hugging Face models simple, and this one line is all you need. In addition, we set option.tensor_parallel_degree to a value of 4 because we have four GPUs on our ml.g5.24xlarge instance. This parameter defines how many partitions of the model to create and distribute. Note that if we had used a larger instance with eight GPUs, such as ml.g5.48xlarge, and still set a value of 4, then LMI would automatically create two replicas of the model (two replicas spread across four GPUs each). See the following code:

%%writefile ./code_falcon40b_deepspeed/
#to deploy falcon-40b-instruct set the model_id value to ‘tiiuae/falcon-40b-instruct’
#option.s3url = {{s3url}}

You can also swap out tiiuae/falcon-40b with tiiuae/falcon-40b-instruct if it suits your needs better.

We also include a requirements.txt file that you can specify to install packages that you require:

%%writefile ./code_falcon40b_deepspeed/requirements.txt

The last thing we need is the file that will be used with your model:

%%writefile ./code_falcon40b_deepspeed/
from djl_python import Input, Output
import os
import torch
from transformers import pipeline, AutoModelForCausalLM, AutoTokenizer
from typing import Any, Dict, Tuple
import warnings

predictor = None

def get_model(properties):
model_name = properties[“model_id”]
local_rank = int(os.getenv(“LOCAL_RANK”, “0”))
model = AutoModelForCausalLM.from_pretrained(
tokenizer = AutoTokenizer.from_pretrained(model_name)
generator = pipeline(
task=”text-generation”, model=model, tokenizer=tokenizer, device_map=”auto”
return generator

def handle(inputs: Input) -> None:
global predictor
if not predictor:
predictor = get_model(inputs.get_properties())
if inputs.is_empty():
# Model server makes an empty call to warmup the model on startup
return None
data = inputs.get_as_json()
text = data[“text”]
text_length = data[“text_length”]
outputs = predictor(text, do_sample=True, min_length=text_length, max_length=text_length)
result = {“outputs”: outputs}
return Output().add_as_json(result)

That’s it! At this point, we have created all the artifacts you will need deploy Falcon-40B with DeepSpeed! We package the directory into a *.tar.gz file and upload it to Amazon S3. Note that the actual model has not been downloaded or packaged into this file. The LMI container will download the model for you from Hugging Face directly. You also have the option to target an S3 bucket if you would like your own copy of the model in a location that will be more performant to download. LMI also includes optimization for downloading from Amazon S3 with high performance. See the following code:

s3_code_artifact_deepspeed= sess.upload_data(“model.tar.gz”, bucket, s3_code_prefix_deepspeed)
print(f”S3 Code or Model tar for deepspeed uploaded to — > {s3_code_artifact_deepspeed}”)

All that is left to do at this point is to define the container we want to use and create a model object:

inference_image_uri = (
model_name_acc = name_from_base(f”falcon40b-model-ds”)
create_model_response = sm_client.create_model(
PrimaryContainer={“Image”: inference_image_uri, “ModelDataUrl”: s3_code_artifact_deepspeed},
model_arn = create_model_response[“ModelArn”]

Then we create an endpoint configuration and create the endpoint:

endpoint_config_name = f”{model_name}-config”
endpoint_name = f”{model_name}-endpoint”
endpoint_config_response = sm_client.create_endpoint_config(
“VariantName”: “variant1”,
“ModelName”: model_name,
“InstanceType”: “ml.g5.24xlarge”,
“InitialInstanceCount”: 1,
“ModelDataDownloadTimeoutInSeconds”: 3600,
“ContainerStartupHealthCheckTimeoutInSeconds”: 3600,
# “VolumeSizeInGB”: 512

create_endpoint_response = sm_client.create_endpoint(
EndpointName=f”{endpoint_name}”, EndpointConfigName=endpoint_config_name
print(f”Created Endpoint: {create_endpoint_response[‘EndpointArn’]}”)

Configuration items to keep in mind for successful hosting

An important consideration for large model hosting is ensuring there is adequate time for model download from Hugging Face. In our tests, the Falcon-40B took about 90 minutes to download onto the instance. A key set of configurations to allow for this are ContainerStartupHealthCheckTimeoutInSeconds and ModelDataDownloadTimeoutInSeconds. Make sure the SageMaker endpoint configuration has a value of 3600 for each of these. Additionally, it’s much easier to download from Amazon S3 instead of the original model zoo using the LMI containers that are specially designed for LLMS that use the S5cmd utility, which cuts the model download time to around 10 minutes.

You can monitor the status of the endpoint by calling DescribeEndpoint, which will tell you when everything is complete. Your endpoint is now ready to respond to inference requests! Because LMI handles the model partitioning and orchestration for you, each request will be processed using all 4 GPUs available on our ml.g5.12xlarge instance. This allows us to host LLMs and increase performance if you scale GPU accelerators horizontally. See the following code:

response_model = smr_client.invoke_endpoint(
Body=json.dumps({“text”: “What is the purpose of life?”, “text_length”: 150}),


If you are done and would like to delete the endpoint configuration, endpoint, and model object, you can run the following commands:


This code we referenced in this post can be found in the complete notebook on GitHub.


SageMaker Hosting and the LMI DLC makes it easy for you to host LLMs like Falcon-40B. It takes on the undifferentiated heavy lifting in orchestrating what is required to host models across multiple GPUs and provides configurable options to suit your needs. In addition, using Hugging Face models becomes very straightforward, with built-in support for these models.

In this post, we showed how you can use SageMaker to host the Falcon-40B model using DeepSpeed. In addition, we provided examples in GitHub to host Falcon-40B using Accelerate, and the smaller Falcon-7B models. We encourage you to give this a try on SageMaker with LMI and get hands-on with the best-performing publicly available LLM to date!

About the authors

James Park is a Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services. He works with to design, build, and deploy technology solutions on AWS, and has a particular interest in AI and machine learning. In h is spare time he enjoys seeking out new cultures, new experiences,  and staying up to date with the latest technology trends.You can find him on LinkedIn.

Abhi Shivaditya is a Senior Solutions Architect at AWS, working with strategic global enterprise organizations to facilitate the adoption of AWS services in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, distributed computing, networking, and storage. His expertise lies in Deep Learning in the domains of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Computer Vision. Abhi assists customers in deploying high-performance machine learning models efficiently within the AWS ecosystem.

Robert Van Dusen is a Senior Product Manager with Amazon SageMaker. He leads deep learning model optimization for applications such as large model inference.

Evandro Franco is an AI/ML Specialist Solutions Architect working on Amazon Web Services. He helps AWS customers overcome business challenges related to AI/ML on top of AWS. He has more than 15 years working with technology, from software development, infrastructure, serverless, to machine learning.

Qing Lan is a Software Development Engineer in AWS. He has been working on several challenging products in Amazon, including high performance ML inference solutions and high performance logging system. Qing’s team successfully launched the first Billion-parameter model in Amazon Advertising with very low latency required. Qing has in-depth knowledge on the infrastructure optimization and Deep Learning acceleration.

Frank Liu is a Software Engineer for AWS Deep Learning. He focuses on building innovative deep learning tools for software engineers and scientists. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking with friends and family.

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