Nearly five years ago, Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched Neptune, a service for running apps that require a graphical database to store and search connected datasets. To keep up with the serverless trend, AWS to expand offering with Amazon Neptune Serverless, a serverless option for Neptune that automatically scales to support variable graph database workloads.
Unlike traditional databases, graphical databases store nodes and relationships instead of tables, columns, and documents. Developers who build apps that track relationships between connected data points use graph databases to understand those relationships across the entire data set; The use cases of the graph database include contact tracing, fraud detection, drug discovery, and even network security.
Graph databases are powerful, to be sure. But they are also unpredictable in terms of processing overhead. Graphics databases typically require a development team to continuously monitor and reconfigure compute capacity to maintain good performance.
Amazon Neptune Serverless ostensibly solves this problem by autonomously provisioning, scaling, and managing clusters of graphical database instances. Neptune Serverless supports the same graph query languages as Amazon Neptune, and customers only pay for the apps they use, according to AWS VP of databases, analytics and machine learning Swami Sivasubramanian.
“Customers have asked us to take on the heavy lifting involved in managing capacity and optimizing costs and performance,” Sivasubramanian said in a press release. “Now, with Amazon Neptune Serverless, customers have a graphical database that automatically provisions and scales clusters seamlessly to provide just the right amount of capacity to meet demand.”
Neptune Serverless is generally available today for AWS customers using Neptune in Eastern US (Ohio), Eastern US (N. Virginia), Western US (N. California), Western US US (Oregon), Asia-Pacific (Tokyo), Europe (Ireland), and Europe (London) server regions. Amazon says it will be coming to other regions in the future.
Serverless computing, which removes the complexity of server capacity management, is a growing trend in software development. According to a 2020 questionnaire, 50% of AWS users said they were using some serverless capabilities. And CB Insights estimated the serverless market was worth $7.7 billion in 2021, up from $1.9 billion in 2016.
AWS last expanded its serverless product portfolio in April when it launched Amazon Aurora Serverless V2, the serverless database service, and SageMaker Serverless Inference, a solution for running AI systems that requires no configuration of the underlying infrastructure. Several new serverless analytics offerings were released in July, including Amazon EMR, Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka, and Amazon Redshift.