Rethinking Feature Stores with Feast and Tecton

apply(conf) - Apr '21 - 30 minutes

Feature stores have emerged as a pivotal component in the modern machine learning stack. They solve some of the toughest challenges in data for machine learning, namely feature management, storage, validation, serving, and reuse.

However, many feature store solutions require a coordinated effort from multiple teams, come with a large infrastructure footprint, and have high integration costs and operational overhead. This large investment places feature stores out of reach for the individual data scientist. What’s needed is a pluggable lightweight feature store that is simple to get started with, with minimal infrastructure requirements.

In this talk we will introduce a major upgrade to Feast, the leading open source feature store. The new Feast can be deployed simply through a pip install, while eliminating the need to deploy or manage dedicated infrastructure. It allows data scientists to develop production-ready ML applications from their local machines in minutes using the tools they’re already familiar with.

We’ll look at a new lightweight abstraction to feature data that creates a unified view of features that decouples models from environment-specific infrastructure. By publishing model-centric logical feature definitions, data scientists can now build ML applications that depend on any data source, using their tools of choice, and deploy to their existing production infrastructure.

Mike Del Balso

Co-Founder & CEO


Mike Del Balso is the co-founder of Tecton, where he is focused on building next-generation data infrastructure for Operational ML. Before Tecton, Mike was the PM lead for the Uber Michelangelo ML platform. He was also a product manager at Google where he managed the core ML systems that power Google’s Search Ads business. Previous to that, he worked on Google Maps. He holds a BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering summa cum laude from the University of Toronto.

Willem Pienaar

Feast Committer and Tech Lead


Willem Pienaar is a tech lead at Tecton, where he leads the Feast open source feature store. Willem created Feast while leading the Data Science Platform team at Gojek. His main focus areas are building data and ML platforms, allowing organizations to scale machine learning and drive decision making. In a previous life, Willem founded and sold a networking startup.