Neo4j 4.0 adds enterprise Fabric to its graph database
In its new release, Neo4j addresses key concerns for enterprise adoption. Scalability, security, management and architectural changes are here. And so is a strange feeling of deja-vu, too.
We’ve been keeping track of graph database evolution regularly in this column. When we got note from Neo4j about its upcoming release, dubbed “the most significant product release in the graph technology market to date”, our interest was piqued. Although the outline we first received was laconic, discussing with CEO Emil Eifrem and digging a bit deeper did not disappoint.
Conventional wisdom says a product version labeled 4.0 is a major release. Going over Neo4j 4.0 makes it clear why Neo4j’s people feel this way about this release. Addressing scalability, security, management and architectural pain points all in one release is no small feat. These are all features users have been asking for. Let’s unpack them one by one.
Let’s not beat around the bush: horizontal scalability is hard, and it’s been a pain point for Neo4j for a while. One that its users were aware of, and making a point of. As long as the entire graph could fit in one machine, it was all good. As soon as the graph started growing beyond that, things started getting ugly. The answer, Neo4j 4.0 promises, lies in the Fabric.
Fabric is the codename for Neo4j’s new sharding and federation capabilities. Sharding refers to splitting one graph over many servers. Federation refers to being able to “join” many different graphs across many servers. Eifrem said they have been thinking about how to do this right for a long time, and we are certain it’s true.