Amazon Neptune is a fully managed Graph Database service, designed for applications that are focused on Relationships (between entities – people, objects, etc.).


What is a Graph Database?

A Graph Database is a database that is designed to store relationships – most often between people, but can be between objects, or any other mix. Two key elements of a Graph Database are Nodes and Edges:

  • Node – simply put, it’s a data entity. Example – a person (Lynda)
  • Edge – is the relationship between any two Nodes. Example – “Friend”
  • To put in context Lynda (Node 1) is a Friend (Edge) of Brandi (Node 2)
  • In popular terms you can think of how Facebook or other Social Networking sites could store data that would make querying it much faster and meaningful.


Use Cases

  • Knowledge Graphs

Neptune Use Case

Image courtesy of AWS


  • Identity Graphs

Amazon Neptune Use Case

Image courtesy of AWS


Key Points for Amazon Neptune

  • Neptune is fully managed, and thus you don’t need to worry about tasks like provisioning, patching, backup, recovery, failure detection and repair.
  • Neptune offers 99.99% availability.
  • Neptune supports up to 15 Replicas, across multiple AZs.
    • Replication is asynchronous.
    • Replicas cannot cross Region.
  • Neptune is ACID compliant with immediate consistency.
  • Neptune supports W3C’s Resource Description Framework (RDF).
  • Supports open Source API like – Apache TinkerPop Gremlin, RDF SPARQL.
  • Neptune supports fast, parallel bulk loading for Property Graph data stored in S3.
  • Backup – Neptune backups are automatic, incremental, and continuous, and allows Point-in-time Restore.
    • You can also manually create Snapshots and keep them for as long as you want.
  • Encryption – Neptune supports encryption of data using keys managed through KMS.



Neptune is billed for following components:

  • Instance Type (e.g., db.t3.medium, db.r5.large) – per Hour
  • Database Storage – per GB per month
  • I/O Rate – per 1 million requests
  • Backup Storage – per GB per month (since Backup is on S3, this price is lower than Database storage price)
  • Data Transfer (Out) – per GB per month (rate changes in tiers)
  • Neptune Workbench – per Hour (rate depends on instance type you select for Workbench)
    • Workbench is an in-console UI to query your graph


External Resources