by Matt Johannessen
As a follow up to a very successful re:Invent in 2018, Novetta was invited by AWS to attend a Data Lab in Seattle. This four-day event hosted by AWS gives customers and partners the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with specific AWS services. Amazon coordinators work with AWS product teams to ensure critical engineering, DevOps, and other technical resources are available to support the team. Novetta was invited to the Data Lab to build prototypes with Amazon Neptune, Amazon’s managed distributed graph database service.
Novetta was represented by a group of highly skilled data scientists, machine learning researchers, and software engineers from a variety of mission spaces. In preparation for the Data Lab, each team gathered relevant sample data and identified mission challenges that could potentially be solved by implementing Neptune capabilities.
Upon arrival in Seattle, we quickly got to work building prototypes alongside Neptune experts. Our teams focused on use cases such as digital media triage, commercially-enabled intelligence, and large-scale entity analytics. The active collaboration between the Novetta team and AWS subject matter experts was an extraordinary learning experience. Key topics included:
- Optimizing Gremlin queries
- Running Neptune queries via SageMaker notebooks
- Integrating with Apache Spark and AWS big data tools (e.g., Elastic MapReduce)
As our teams iterated on their prototypes, they were able to give AWS direct feedback. For example, due to the complexity and size of their data, one of our teams ran into limitations of the Gremlin query language. Novetta worked with the Neptune product team to define foundational changes that should be made to the open source Apache TinkerPop project that will eventually improve the Neptune service. Throughout the week, the Novetta team generated 19 Product Feature Requests (PFR) across several AWS services relevant to our customer mission sets.
The Novetta team also had the opportunity to hear from several AWS product owners regarding innovative capabilities on their respective roadmaps, valuable knowledge which informs Novetta internal research and development initiatives. Overall, our time spent at the AWS Data Lab was inspiring, we left Seattle with technical experience, strengthened relationships, and knowledge of exciting cloud capabilities to come.