When it comes to cloud operation monitoring Datadog is a newcomer. It claims 27,000 servers under its watchful, online service. Datadog is not like other young monitoring systems, which are propagate alongside increasing cloud use, drawing data from numerous existing tools and monitoring systems and then it applies analytics to create a complex picture.
There is another way that it is different – It has major cloud vendor HP, with OpenStack cloud as a customer.
Today’s monitoring systems usually come either from a third-party startup that’s not well known or from the system’s manufacturer. Datadog is one of those third party companies that are not well known. But with complex applications that operate across several systems/workloads that are running on premise and in the cloud, with the value of monitoring is rising.
How does Datadog work?
Rather than using network sniffing or agents on applications to get operational data, it is plugged into the build engine Jenkins; the configuration engines Chef and Puppet; the cloud metrics system of Amazon’s CloudWatch; the NoSQL systems CouchDB, Cassandra and MongoDB; relational databases; and additional sources.
Datadog aggregates information from different systems, digests it, interprets it, and puts together relevant charts, graphs, and specific indicators into a dashboard that is continuously updated to show what is happening. Information is collected from open source code management systems Git and Github, Nagios system management, Airbrake’s monitoring system, and the Apache Web server.
You can configure screenboards to show a combination of information from different systems that operations managers or developers think is most relevant. You can drag information collected by Datadog to a screenboard and drop it in to become part of the display.
The screenboards can be given a URL so that it is easy to distribute it to external stakeholders or team members. The screenboards receive real time updates and it can combine information into graphs, charts, widgets, alerts, and/or HTML iFrames. If you want a custom display then you can apply their own metrics.
The supported platforms and apps
Datadog supports Yammer, and custom metrics for a Java application which can be built using the Yammer Metrics library. The analytics engine can combine information from Nagios systems management in combination with other information that it has been collected. When necessary, Datadog can place its own reporting agent on the open source system(s) being monitored.
The content delivery network MaxCDN uses Datadog to take operational snapshots of the infrastructure of its software. In the recent announcement MaxCDN VP of operations, Kevin Meinert said, “Datadog can take a snapshot of our infrastructure specific KPIs in seconds. We previously had to develop custom dashboards that had to process huge amounts of data …”
This announcement marked the addition of the screenboards to the monitoring product that has been around since 2012. Datadog is referred to as software-as-a-service that costs only $15 a month per monitored server. There are 20 employees at Datadog, with 15 of them being engineers.