I haven't heard much about Datadog until about a year ago. Ironically, the NewRelic sales person who I had a series of trainings with was trash talking about Datadog a lot. That drew my attention to Datadog and I gave it a try at another client project where we needed log handling, dashboards and alerting.
In 2019, Datadog was already offering log management and from that perspective, it was ahead of NewRelic. Other than that, from my perspective, the two tools are offering a very-very similar set of tools. Therefore I wouldn't say there's a significant difference between the two, the decision is likely a matter of taste. The pricing is also very similar.
The reasons why we chose Datadog over NewRelic were:
- The presence of log handling feature (since then, logging is GA at NewRelic as well since falls 2019).
- The setup was easier even though I already had experience with NewRelic, including participation in NewRelic trainings.
- The UI of Datadog is more compact and my experience is smoother.
- The NewRelic UI is very fragmented and New Relic One is just increasing this experience for me.
- The log feature of Datadog is very well designed, I find very useful the tagging logs with services. The log filtering is also very awesome.
Bottom line is that both tools are great and it makes sense to discover both and making the decision based on your use case. In our case, Datadog was the clear winner due to its UI, ease of setup and the awesome logging and alerting features.
I chose Datadog APM because the much better APM insights it provides (flamegraph, percentiles by default).
The drawbacks of this decision are we had to move our production monitoring to TimescaleDB + Telegraf instead of NR Insight
NewRelic is definitely easier when starting out. Agent is only a lib and doesn't require a daemon