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InfoQ Homepage News Amazon Neptune Now Supports Serverless Deployment Option

Amazon Neptune Now Supports Serverless Deployment Option


Recently AWS announced the general availability (GA) of a new deployment option for Amazon Neptune, providing automatic scaling capacity based on the application's needs. The deployment option is called Amazon Neptune Serverless.

Amazon Neptune is a fully-managed graph database service that makes it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected datasets. The service has various features and ways to provision a database, which now includes a Serverless option.


Daniel Dominguez, a software program manager, explains in his blog post the serverless deployment option:

If you have unpredictable and variable workloads, Neptune Serverless automatically determines and provisions the compute and memory resources to run the graph database. Database capacity scales up and down based on the application’s changing requirements to maintain consistent performance, saving up to 90% in database costs compared to provisioning at peak capacity.

Developers can create a Neptune Serverless cluster from the Amazon Neptune console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or SDK, with support for AWS CloudFormation soon. They can use the database service available and popular graph query languages (Apache TinkerPop Gremlin, the W3C's SPARQL, and Neo4j's openCypher) to execute powerful queries that are easy to write and perform well on connected data. The service is suitable for use cases such as recommendation engines, fraud detection, knowledge graphs, drug discovery, and network security.

Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Databases, Analytics, and Machine Learning at AWS, said in a press release:

Now, with Amazon Neptune Serverless, customers have a graph database that automatically provisions and seamlessly scales clusters to provide just the right amount of capacity to meet demand, allowing them to build and run applications for even the most variable and unpredictable workloads without having to worry about provisioning capacity, scaling clusters, or incurring costs for unused resources.

Maciej Radzikowski, a software developer at Merapar, tweeted:

After Aurora, welcome Amazon Neptune "Serverless"...

✅ Yes, I'm glad there is an auto-scaling capability.
✅ Yes, I'm aware scaling to zero is difficult for DBs.
❌ No, I don't like putting "serverless" label on things that are not serverless.

In addition, Sebastian Bille, founder & software engineer at Elva, summarized the limitations in his tweet:

Neptune’s "Serverless" release

  • No CloudFormation support
  • Only a few regions
  • Still requires a VPC
  • Doesn't scale to zero

Currently, Neptune Serverless is now available in the following AWS Regions: US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (N. California), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Europe (Ireland), and Europe (London).  

Lastly, more details on the serverless deployment option are available on the documentation page. Additionally, pricing details can be found on the pricing page.

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