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 that 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, allowing 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:

Supports Open Graph APIs

Amazon Neptune supports open graph APIs for both Gremlin and SPARQL, and 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, 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, including 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. Instead, Neptune allows you to 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 significantly reduces code complexity and enables you to more 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, and 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.

Amazon Neptune Features

Neptune provides the following basic features and capabilities.

Performance and Scalability

Amazon Neptune is a high-performance graph database service that is optimized for processing graph queries. Neptune supports up to 15 low-latency read replicas across three Availability Zones to scale read capacity and execute more than 100,000 graph queries per second. You can easily scale your database deployment up and down from smaller to larger instance types as your needs change.

High Availability and Durability

Neptune is highly available and durable and is designed to provide greater than 99.99 percent availability. It features fault-tolerant and self-healing storage built for the cloud that replicates six copies of your data across three Availability Zones. Neptune continuously backs up your data to Amazon S3 and transparently recovers from physical storage failures. For high availability, instance failover typically takes less than 30 seconds.

Support for Open Graph APIs

Neptune supports open graph APIs for both Gremlin and SPARQL, and it provides high performance for both of these graph models and their query languages. You can choose the PG model and its open source query language TinkerPop Gremlin, or the RDF model and its standard query language SPARQL.

Enhanced Data Security

Amazon Neptune provides multiple levels of security for your database, including network isolation using Amazon VPC, and encryption at rest using keys that you create and control through 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 Service

You don’t have to worry about database management tasks like hardware provisioning, software patching, setup, configuration, or backups. Neptune automatically and continuously monitors and backs up your database to Amazon S3, enabling granular point-in-time recovery.

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