Amazon Neptune
User Guide (API Version 2017-11-29)

What Is Amazon Neptune?

Amazon Neptune is a fast, reliable, fully managed graph database service that makes it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected datasets. The core of Neptune is a purpose-built, high-performance graph database engine. This engine is optimized for storing billions of relationships and querying the graph with milliseconds latency. Neptune supports the popular graph query languages Apache TinkerPop Gremlin and W3C’s SPARQL, enabling you to build queries that efficiently navigate highly connected datasets. Neptune powers graph use cases such as recommendation engines, fraud detection, knowledge graphs, drug discovery, and network security.

Neptune is highly available, with read replicas, point-in-time recovery, continuous backup to Amazon S3, and replication across Availability Zones. Neptune provides data security features, with support for encryption at rest and in transit. Neptune is fully managed, so you no longer need to worry about database management tasks like hardware provisioning, software patching, setup, configuration, or backups.

To learn about using Amazon Neptune, we recommend that you start with the following sections:

Key Service Components

  • Primary DB instance – Supports read and write operations, and performs all of the data modifications to the cluster volume. Each Neptune DB cluster has one primary DB instance that is responsible for writing (that is, loading or modifying) graph database contents.

  • Neptune replica – Connects to the same storage volume as the primary DB instance and supports only read operations. Each Neptune DB cluster can have up to 15 Neptune Replicas in addition to the primary DB instance. This provides high availability by locating Neptune Replicas in separate Availability Zones and distribution load from reading clients.

  • Cluster volume – Neptune data is stored in the cluster volume, which is designed for reliability and high availability. A cluster volume consists of copies of the data across multiple Availability Zones in a single AWS Region. Because your data is automatically replicated across Availability Zones, it is highly durable, and there is little possibility of data loss.

Supports Open Graph APIs

Amazon Neptune supports open graph APIs for both Gremlin and SPARQL. It provides high performance for both of these graph models and their query languages. You can choose the Property Graph (PG) model and its open source query language, or the Apache TinkerPop Gremlin graph traversal language. Or, you can use the W3C standard Resource Description Framework (RDF) model and its standard SPARQL Query Language.

Highly Secure

Neptune provides multiple levels of security for your database. Security features include network isolation using Amazon VPC, and encryption at rest using keys that you create and control through AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS). On an encrypted Neptune instance, data in the underlying storage is encrypted, as are the automated backups, snapshots, and replicas in the same cluster.

Fully Managed

With Amazon Neptune, you don’t have to worry about database management tasks like hardware provisioning, software patching, setup, configuration, or backups.

You can use Neptune to create sophisticated, interactive graph applications that can query billions of relationships in milliseconds. SQL queries for highly connected data are complex and hard to tune for performance. With Neptune, you can use the popular graph query languages TinkerPop Gremlin and SPARQL to execute powerful queries that are easy to write and perform well on connected data. This capability significantly reduces code complexity so that you can quickly create applications that process relationships.

Neptune is designed to offer greater than 99.99 percent availability. It increases database performance and availability by tightly integrating the database engine with an SSD-backed virtualized storage layer that is built for database workloads. Neptune storage is fault-tolerant and self-healing. Disk failures are repaired in the background without loss of database availability. Neptune automatically detects database crashes and restarts without the need for crash recovery or rebuilding the database cache. If the entire instance fails, Neptune automatically fails over to one of up to 15 read replicas.