Application & Server Monitoring to Business Results: Cases from Datadog

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Software and hardware use had always generated data. Yet data without being able to easily visualise, understand, and then make use of them is meaningless.

Many companies started to look into data analytics and how they could power business decisions. However, these can only happen by implementing application and server monitoring which prove to be costly in time and expenses wise. Much more if their efforts yield no fruitful results. This is where ready solution like Datadog comes in.

What is Datadog

Datadog is a SaaS that monitor applications, servers, and networks among many other associated server-operating tools. It is founded in 2010 in New York, US. Nearly ten years later in 2019, the company successfully launched their IPO in Nasdaq. 

Server Monitoring for Finance
Image Source: Datadog

Presently, Datadog is used by thousands of corporates across industries in Finance, Logistics, Healthcare, Retail, Media, Technology, Gaming and Public Service. You may recall some of the most renowned brands in the world such as Samsung, 21st Century Fox, Shell, Lenovo, and WWE who uses their server monitoring platform for a range of functions that might include; security, data analytics, infrastructure performance maximisation, and of course, service optimisation.

How Does Datadog Work?

Datadog is able to integrate with a huge range of servers, applications and tools. Once upon integration, the software monitors and provides full visibility into the performance to alert users for troubleshooting. With Datadog, users get an easy-to-use and visualise dashboard where they can monitor physically any latest insights, or view past logs.

Server Monitoring for Media
Image Source: Datadog

Besides, all these being powered automatically on the backend and with the capabilities of AI! Also, users will be pleased to know that Datadog has made monitoring available for their users anytime anywhere on any devices, as long as internet is available, with their mobile-supported app!

Server Monitoring for Technology
Image Source: Datadog

Then again, the features of Datadog we described are a summary at best. Their features and benefits are many and can never be fully described in a single post. Hence, we present three case studies of use cases of Datadog. With that, we hope it presents a complete view and understanding into what this SaaS does, how it could prove to be useful, and even game-changing for your business. In no order, here goes!

  1. Mercado Libre
  2. Delivery Hero
  3. Peloton

Case Study 1: Mercado Libre

Image Source: Mercado Libre

Problems Faced

The largest online marketplace of Latin America, Mercado Libre, (think eBay or Amazon) was using 600 applications hosted on 15k virtual machines for their business. Each application collects data like most others. Due to some operational difficulties, Mercado Libre realised that they need a solution or platform to start making sense of these data. Then, their team sought several open-source systems and integrated them together to make a server monitoring platform. However, they soon learned that their solution was hard to manage and especially inefficient when it comes to corelating these data from their many applications.

How Datadog Helped Solve the Problems

Datadog is a specialised server monitoring tool. It is capable of performing analysis of both physical and virtual network, server, and storage to make sense of the data. For instance, storage is a common issue for many organisations in this fast-paced business economy. Whenever storage is running low, a system will typically limit certain function automatically. With Datadog, it will be able to monitor and accurately determine the root cause of this issue. Thereafter, Mercado Libre’s engineering team will be able to fix it.

That’s not all! Datadog has also proven to be highly scalable. It has constantly been able to monitor a huge amount of data and perform its correlational analysis effectively. Hence, to cite the storage issue again, Mercado Libre can decide to add in more storage in the future. Datadog will be able to work well nonetheless.

Outcome and Benefits

Datadog had basically strengthened Mercado Libre’s troubleshooting capabilities in network and server which are key infrastructures for their business! Furthermore, it has saved their team lots of time which they could otherwise put into other good use. With reliable correlational data from each application now available, their development teams were able to work more seamlessly and perform better. Also, Datadog had given Mercado Libre a confidence lifts to scale their business without worry of network infrastructure failure or similar.

Case Study 2: Delivery Hero

Image Source: Delivery Hero

Problems Faced

PedidosYa, a Latin America-based food delivery company by Delivery Hero, were facing issues with many users creating multiple accounts in order to receive free vouchers. This issue itself was harmful for their business. To add on to the issue, their team took as long as 1 month to detect these accounts and block them accordingly. This is due to their workflow of having to manually create firewall rules per domain. As such, it was simply ineffective, and not only costly.

How Datadog Helped Solve the Problems

Datadog offers customisable detection rules that was able to analyse and detect a huge range of fraudulent behaviours real-time. Moreover, their system works seamlessly with other applications that PedidosYa uses, allowing correlational data monitoring and analysis much like Mercado Libre’s case.

In terms of usability, Datadog offers superb ergonomics! Their tagging function enables grouping by service, region or IP, of security-related data. Thus, helping them block accounts much more efficiently and effectively based on similar tag groups. Datadog also comes with an overview dashboard of all security-related data for visualisation and troubleshooting.

Outcome and Benefits

In simple terms, cyber security capabilities at PedidosYa had increased, aided by Datadog’s server monitoring. Although there were no research data available, PedidosYa’s current efficiency and effectiveness at pinpointing fraudulent behaviours had prevented revenue loss, and saved them a huge ton of human efforts! They could now launch promotional activities with greater assurance, knowing that they are backed by a powerful server monitoring platform in Datadog.

Case Study 3: Peloton

Image Source: Peloton

Problems Faced

Peloton is a US-based fitness technology company. Their highlight product, an indoor-cycling bike with a touchscreen monitor, enables their users to cycle while attending live or on-demand lessons. Henceforth, being able to deliver live video feed across remains a key component of their service supporting their product. To put it simply, being able to maintain at low latency would do a great deal for their business in all ends by delivering a sooth experience for their users. Especially when Peloton have a userbase of nearly half a million, with certain lessons attended by thousands of users.

Having identified the problem, Peloton also knew that they needed a server monitoring platform that was capable of working with their current infrastructures including Python, and other relevant libraries.

How Datadog Help Solve the Problems

Firstly, there were no hassle with rolling Datadog across Peloton’s infrastructures as it was able to support Python and their libraries.

Secondly, upon deployment, Datadog was able to trace certain data to identify inefficiencies in certain application logic. Thus, removing or improving on it.

Lastly, Datadog made visualisation of data possible and also easy to read. It helps the Peloton team read and analyse better for data-driven decisions. Without Datadog, they had to read through codes which did little to reveal any real insights for improvement.

Outcome and Benefits

Within a month of deploying Datadog, Peloton had found an improvement in their server response time by at least a factor of three! In particular, the response time for when users searching for classes online were cut by a factor of four! This greatly ensures that their users stay engaged with using their bike. For the long term, this represents a huge step towards their business as they stay on course to grow.

Pricing

Datadog have a total of 9 features. The pricing varies accordingly with which features you need. Each of them costs differently and base on different factors. However, Datadog does have a freemium plan in their ‘Infrastructure’ feature. That is, if you need the visualisation of data for your server or app, it is free for up to 5 hosts and 1-day metric detention.

Otherwise, Datadog also offers Log Management, APM & Continuous Profiler, Security Monitoring, Serverless, Network Monitoring, Real User Monitoring, Synthetic Monitoring, and Incident Management features. All these features offer a free trial, so if you are ever keen, click on ‘Start Free Trial’ in their website, or drop Datadog’s customer support a line and we are sure they would be happy to help!

Things to Note About Datadog

Datadog may readily integrates with a huge number of third-party applications, servers, and tools Still, it does not integrate with all. Customisation and manual work might be required in order to make it work for your organisational use. The only workaround to this is to consult your respective team and Datadog’s.

The pricing is highly subjective and based on usage. Thread carefully to ensure not running into budgetary issues. First, run a cost-benefit analysis to determine take up feasibility. Does the costs of not using Datadog outweighs that of using? Then, do a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to which will present a more complete view of long-term costs.

Introducing Datadog in 45 Seconds (Video Source: Datadog)

Final Comments

Datadog is a powerful application and server monitoring software. Every organisation dealing with a huge mass of data should take it up to see what the software can do for them. In fact, all organisations should look towards using data to power their decisions! Think your system is slow due to coding inefficiencies? Need a way to trace data points to identify fraud? These are some of the pluses to monitoring! Start having application and server monitoring in your sight as you build towards business sustainability!

This article is intended to be written in simple language for the laymen keen in WorkTech. Thus, if it does not meet your expectation as an IT or Data pro, we apologise. Nonetheless, we welcome and appreciate any correction if you contact us.

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