Datadog vs Grafana

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Datadog vs Grafana: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Datadog and Grafana

Datadog and Grafana are two popular monitoring and observability tools used in the IT industry. While both tools offer similar functionalities, there are key differences that set them apart from each other.

  1. Data Visualization: Datadog is primarily focused on data visualization and provides a wide range of pre-built visualizations and dashboards. It offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface to create and customize visualizations without the need for complex coding. On the other hand, Grafana is more flexible and allows users to create highly customizable dashboards with the ability to integrate data from various sources. It provides a wide range of visualization options and gives users greater control over the appearance and behavior of their visualizations.

  2. Data Sources: Datadog is designed to seamlessly integrate with various cloud platforms and services, making it the ideal choice for monitoring cloud-based infrastructures. It offers native integrations with popular cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. Grafana, on the other hand, supports a wide range of data sources including databases, APIs, and time series databases like Prometheus and InfluxDB. This flexibility allows Grafana to be used in a variety of environments, both cloud-based and on-premises.

  3. Alerting Capabilities: Both Datadog and Grafana offer alerting capabilities, but there are some key differences. Datadog provides an advanced alerting engine that allows users to define complex conditions and thresholds for triggering alerts based on their specific requirements. It also offers alert deduplication and suppression to prevent unnecessary notifications. Grafana, on the other hand, has a simpler alerting system that requires users to define alert rules using the PromQL query language. While Grafana's alerting capabilities are not as robust as Datadog's, it can be extended using third-party plugins.

  4. Community and Ecosystem: Grafana has a strong and vibrant community with active contributors, which has resulted in a wide range of plugins and extensions being available. This means that users can easily extend and enhance the functionality of Grafana to meet their specific needs. Datadog also has a growing community and ecosystem, but it may not have the same level of community-driven plugins and extensions as Grafana.

  5. Pricing Model: Datadog follows a subscription-based pricing model, where the cost is based on the number of hosts or resources being monitored. This can make it expensive for organizations with a large number of resources. On the other hand, Grafana is open source and free to use, which can be more cost-effective for organizations on a tight budget. However, it's worth noting that Grafana Labs, the company behind Grafana, offers additional enterprise features and support that come with a cost.

  6. Ease of Deployment: Datadog offers a fully managed solution and provides easy deployment options on various cloud platforms. It requires minimal setup and configuration, making it quick to get started. Grafana, on the other hand, requires more manual setup and configuration, especially if you want to integrate it with data sources like Prometheus or InfluxDB. While this may require more technical expertise, it also gives users greater control and flexibility over their monitoring setup.

In summary, Datadog and Grafana have their own strengths and weaknesses. Datadog is focused on data visualization and provides native integrations with cloud platforms, while Grafana offers more customization options and supports a wide range of data sources. The choice between the two depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the organization.

Advice on Datadog and Grafana
Susmita Meher
Senior SRE at African Bank · | 4 upvotes · 796.6K views
Needs advice
on
GrafanaGrafanaGraphiteGraphite
and
PrometheusPrometheus

Looking for a tool which can be used for mainly dashboard purposes, but here are the main requirements:

  • Must be able to get custom data from AS400,
  • Able to display automation test results,
  • System monitoring / Nginx API,
  • Able to get data from 3rd parties DB.

Grafana is almost solving all the problems, except AS400 and no database to get automation test results.

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Replies (1)
Sakti Behera
Technical Specialist, Software Engineering at AT&T · | 3 upvotes · 582K views
Recommends
on
GrafanaGrafanaPrometheusPrometheus

You can look out for Prometheus Instrumentation (https://prometheus.io/docs/practices/instrumentation/) Client Library available in various languages https://prometheus.io/docs/instrumenting/clientlibs/ to create the custom metric you need for AS4000 and then Grafana can query the newly instrumented metric to show on the dashboard.

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Farzeem Diamond Jiwani
Software Engineer at IVP · | 8 upvotes · 1.4M views
Needs advice
on
AppDynamicsAppDynamicsDatadogDatadog
and
DynatraceDynatrace

Hey there! We are looking at Datadog, Dynatrace, AppDynamics, and New Relic as options for our web application monitoring.

Current Environment: .NET Core Web app hosted on Microsoft IIS

Future Environment: Web app will be hosted on Microsoft Azure

Tech Stacks: IIS, RabbitMQ, Redis, Microsoft SQL Server

Requirement: Infra Monitoring, APM, Real - User Monitoring (User activity monitoring i.e., time spent on a page, most active page, etc.), Service Tracing, Root Cause Analysis, and Centralized Log Management.

Please advise on the above. Thanks!

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Needs advice
on
DatadogDatadogNew RelicNew Relic
and
SysdigSysdig

We are looking for a centralised monitoring solution for our application deployed on Amazon EKS. We would like to monitor using metrics from Kubernetes, AWS services (NeptuneDB, AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon EBS, Amazon S3, etc) and application microservice's custom metrics.

We are expected to use around 80 microservices (not replicas). I think a total of 200-250 microservices will be there in the system with 10-12 slave nodes.

We tried Prometheus but it looks like maintenance is a big issue. We need to manage scaling, maintaining the storage, and dealing with multiple exporters and Grafana. I felt this itself needs few dedicated resources (at least 2-3 people) to manage. Not sure if I am thinking in the correct direction. Please confirm.

You mentioned Datadog and Sysdig charges per host. Does it charge per slave node?

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Replies (3)
Recommends
on
DatadogDatadog

Can't say anything to Sysdig. I clearly prefer Datadog as

  • they provide plenty of easy to "switch-on" plugins for various technologies (incl. most of AWS)
  • easy to code (python) agent plugins / api for own metrics
  • brillant dashboarding / alarms with many customization options
  • pricing is OK, there are cheaper options for specific use cases but if you want superior dashboarding / alarms I haven't seen a good competitor (despite your own Prometheus / Grafana / Kibana dog food)

IMHO NewRelic is "promising since years" ;) good ideas but bad integration between their products. Their Dashboard query language is really nice but lacks critical functions like multiple data sets or advanced calculations. Needless to say you get all of that with Datadog.

Need help setting up a monitoring / logging / alarm infrastructure? Send me a message!

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Maik Schröder
Recommends
on
InstanaInstana

Hi Medeti,

you are right. Building based on your stack something with open source is heavy lifting. A lot of people I know start with such a set-up, but quickly run into frustration as they need to dedicated their best people to build a monitoring which is doing the job in a professional way.

As you are microservice focussed and are looking for 'low implementation and maintenance effort', you might want to have a look at INSTANA, which was built with modern tool stacks in mind. https://www.instana.com/apm-for-microservices/

We have a public sand-box available if you just want to have a look at the product once and of course also a free-trial: https://www.instana.com/getting-started-with-apm/

Let me know if you need anything on top.

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Attila Fulop
Management Advisor at artkonekt · | 2 upvotes · 318.5K views

I have hands on production experience both with New Relic and Datadog. I personally prefer Datadog over NewRelic because of the UI, the Documentation and the overall user/developer experience.

NewRelic however, can do basically the same things as Datadog can, and some of the features like alerting have been present in NewRelic for longer than in Datadog. The cool thing about NewRelic is their last-summer-updated pricing: you no longer pay per host but after data you send towards New Relic. This can be a huge cost saver depending on your particular setup

https://docs.newrelic.com/docs/accounts/accounts-billing/new-relic-one-pricing-billing/new-relic-one-pricing-billing

I'd go for Datadog, but given you have lots of containers I would also make a cost calculation. If the price difference is significant and there's a budget constraint NewRelic might be the better choice.

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Mat Jovanovic
Head of Cloud at Mats Cloud · | 3 upvotes · 725.5K views
Needs advice
on
DatadogDatadogGrafanaGrafana
and
PrometheusPrometheus

We're looking for a Monitoring and Logging tool. It has to support AWS (mostly 100% serverless, Lambdas, SNS, SQS, API GW, CloudFront, Autora, etc.), as well as Azure and GCP (for now mostly used as pure IaaS, with a lot of cognitive services, and mostly managed DB). Hopefully, something not as expensive as Datadog or New relic, as our SRE team could support the tool inhouse. At the moment, we primarily use CloudWatch for AWS and Pandora for most on-prem.

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Replies (2)
Lucas Rincon
Recommends
on
InstanaInstana

this is quite affordable and provides what you seem to be looking for. you can see a whole thing about the APM space here https://www.apmexperts.com/observability/ranking-the-observability-offerings/

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Recommends
on
DatadogDatadog

I worked with Datadog at least one year and my position is that commercial tools like Datadog are the best option to consolidate and analyze your metrics. Obviously, if you can't pay the tool, the best free options are the mix of Prometheus with their Alert Manager and Grafana to visualize (that are complementary not substitutable). But I think that no use a good tool it's finally more expensive that use a not really good implementation of free tools and you will pay also to maintain its.

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Needs advice
on
GrafanaGrafana
and
KibanaKibana

From a StackShare Community member: “We need better analytics & insights into our Elasticsearch cluster. Grafana, which ships with advanced support for Elasticsearch, looks great but isn’t officially supported/endorsed by Elastic. Kibana, on the other hand, is made and supported by Elastic. I’m wondering what people suggest in this situation."

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Replies (7)
Recommends
on
GrafanaGrafana
at

For our Predictive Analytics platform, we have used both Grafana and Kibana

Kibana has predictions and ML algorithms support, so if you need them, you may be better off with Kibana . The multi-variate analysis features it provide are very unique (not available in Grafana).

For everything else, definitely Grafana . Especially the number of supported data sources, and plugins clearly makes Grafana a winner (in just visualization and reporting sense). Creating your own plugin is also very easy. The top pros of Grafana (which it does better than Kibana ) are:

  • Creating and organizing visualization panels
  • Templating the panels on dashboards for repetetive tasks
  • Realtime monitoring, filtering of charts based on conditions and variables
  • Export / Import in JSON format (that allows you to version and save your dashboard as part of git)
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Recommends
on
KibanaKibana

I use both Kibana and Grafana on my workplace: Kibana for logging and Grafana for monitoring. Since you already work with Elasticsearch, I think Kibana is the safest choice in terms of ease of use and variety of messages it can manage, while Grafana has still (in my opinion) a strong link to metrics

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Bram Verdonck
Recommends
on
GrafanaGrafana
at

After looking for a way to monitor or at least get a better overview of our infrastructure, we found out that Grafana (which I previously only used in ELK stacks) has a plugin available to fully integrate with Amazon CloudWatch . Which makes it way better for our use-case than the offer of the different competitors (most of them are even paid). There is also a CloudFlare plugin available, the platform we use to serve our DNS requests. Although we are a big fan of https://smashing.github.io/ (previously dashing), for now we are starting with Grafana .

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Recommends
on
KibanaKibana

I use Kibana because it ships with the ELK stack. I don't find it as powerful as Splunk however it is light years above grepping through log files. We previously used Grafana but found it to be annoying to maintain a separate tool outside of the ELK stack. We were able to get everything we needed from Kibana.

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Recommends
on
KibanaKibana

Kibana should be sufficient in this architecture for decent analytics, if stronger metrics is needed then combine with Grafana. Datadog also offers nice overview but there's no need for it in this case unless you need more monitoring and alerting (and more technicalities).

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Recommends
on
GrafanaGrafana

I use Grafana because it is without a doubt the best way to visualize metrics

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Povilas Brilius
PHP Web Developer at GroundIn Software · | 0 upvotes · 603.5K views
Recommends
on
KibanaKibana
at

@Kibana, of course, because @Grafana looks like amateur sort of solution, crammed with query builder grouping aggregates, but in essence, as recommended by CERN - KIbana is the corporate (startup vectored) decision.

Furthermore, @Kibana comes with complexity adhering ELK stack, whereas @InfluxDB + @Grafana & co. recently have become sophisticated development conglomerate instead of advancing towards a understandable installation step by step inheritance.

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Decisions about Datadog and Grafana
Leonardo Henrique da Paixão
Junior QA Tester at SolarMarket · | 2 upvotes · 178.9K views

I learned a lot from Grafana, especially the issue of data monitoring, as it is easy to use, I learned how to create quick and simple dashboards. InfluxDB, I didn't know any other types of DBMS, I only knew about relational DBMS or not, but the difference was the scalability of both, but with influxDB, I knew how a time series DBMS works and finally, Telegraf, which is from the same company as InfluxDB, as I used the Windows Operating System, Telegraf tools was the first in the industry, in addition, it has complete documentation, facilitating its use, I learned a lot about connections, without having to make scripts to collect the data.

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Leonardo Henrique da Paixão
Junior QA Tester at SolarMarket · | 15 upvotes · 361.4K views

The objective of this work was to develop a system to monitor the materials of a production line using IoT technology. Currently, the process of monitoring and replacing parts depends on manual services. For this, load cells, microcontroller, Broker MQTT, Telegraf, InfluxDB, and Grafana were used. It was implemented in a workflow that had the function of collecting sensor data, storing it in a database, and visualizing it in the form of weight and quantity. With these developed solutions, he hopes to contribute to the logistics area, in the replacement and control of materials.

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Attila Fulop

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.

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Benoit Larroque
Principal Engineer at Sqreen · | 4 upvotes · 416.7K views

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

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Pros of Datadog
Pros of Grafana
  • 139
    Monitoring for many apps (databases, web servers, etc)
  • 107
    Easy setup
  • 87
    Powerful ui
  • 84
    Powerful integrations
  • 70
    Great value
  • 54
    Great visualization
  • 46
    Events + metrics = clarity
  • 41
    Notifications
  • 41
    Custom metrics
  • 39
    Flexibility
  • 19
    Free & paid plans
  • 16
    Great customer support
  • 15
    Makes my life easier
  • 10
    Adapts automatically as i scale up
  • 9
    Easy setup and plugins
  • 8
    Super easy and powerful
  • 7
    In-context collaboration
  • 7
    AWS support
  • 6
    Rich in features
  • 5
    Docker support
  • 4
    Cute logo
  • 4
    Source control and bug tracking
  • 4
    Monitor almost everything
  • 4
    Cost
  • 4
    Full visibility of applications
  • 4
    Simple, powerful, great for infra
  • 4
    Easy to Analyze
  • 4
    Best than others
  • 4
    Automation tools
  • 3
    Best in the field
  • 3
    Free setup
  • 3
    Good for Startups
  • 3
    Expensive
  • 2
    APM
  • 89
    Beautiful
  • 68
    Graphs are interactive
  • 57
    Free
  • 56
    Easy
  • 34
    Nicer than the Graphite web interface
  • 26
    Many integrations
  • 18
    Can build dashboards
  • 10
    Easy to specify time window
  • 10
    Can collaborate on dashboards
  • 9
    Dashboards contain number tiles
  • 5
    Open Source
  • 5
    Integration with InfluxDB
  • 5
    Click and drag to zoom in
  • 4
    Authentification and users management
  • 4
    Threshold limits in graphs
  • 3
    Alerts
  • 3
    It is open to cloud watch and many database
  • 3
    Simple and native support to Prometheus
  • 2
    Great community support
  • 2
    You can use this for development to check memcache
  • 2
    You can visualize real time data to put alerts
  • 0
    Grapsh as code
  • 0
    Plugin visualizationa

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Cons of Datadog
Cons of Grafana
  • 19
    Expensive
  • 4
    No errors exception tracking
  • 2
    External Network Goes Down You Wont Be Logging
  • 1
    Complicated
  • 1
    No interactive query builder

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What is Datadog?

Datadog is the leading service for cloud-scale monitoring. It is used by IT, operations, and development teams who build and operate applications that run on dynamic or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Start monitoring in minutes with Datadog!

What is Grafana?

Grafana is a general purpose dashboard and graph composer. It's focused on providing rich ways to visualize time series metrics, mainly though graphs but supports other ways to visualize data through a pluggable panel architecture. It currently has rich support for for Graphite, InfluxDB and OpenTSDB. But supports other data sources via plugins.

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What are some alternatives to Datadog and Grafana?
New Relic
The world’s best software and DevOps teams rely on New Relic to move faster, make better decisions and create best-in-class digital experiences. If you run software, you need to run New Relic. More than 50% of the Fortune 100 do too.
Splunk
It provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use it to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.
Prometheus
Prometheus is a systems and service monitoring system. It collects metrics from configured targets at given intervals, evaluates rule expressions, displays the results, and can trigger alerts if some condition is observed to be true.
AppDynamics
AppDynamics develops application performance management (APM) solutions that deliver problem resolution for highly distributed applications through transaction flow monitoring and deep diagnostics.
Sentry
Sentry’s Application Monitoring platform helps developers see performance issues, fix errors faster, and optimize their code health.
See all alternatives