Based on what I see in the video embedded below, the Datadog team has developed a dashboard that can be used jointly by development and infrastructure operations teams to get a holistic view of everything that’s going on in the stack. This challenge (the interaction between application developers and infrastructure operations, or rather, the lack of it) is very real, and I see it every day in my day job. So, I always like to see when a startup (especially a NYC-based one) is building tooling to help bridge this gap.
It is hard to tell from the video how much of the product is focused on analysis versus aggregation and presentation of statistics. Certainly there is value in correlating various statistics from different web services (e.g. money spent on AWS correlated with a spike in site traffic captured by Google Analytics) but the greater value would be in crunching the data and making predictions (or taking pre-emptive action). Maybe the idea is that a dashboard is provided for free, with analytics available for a fee?
Another question that came to mind when watching the video was: “Who is the customer?” Is it the application developer, the system administrator, or both? My gut tells me infrastructure folks would be the ones to get excited about this product, as they are generally spending lots of time looking at various metrics, reports, and charts, and trying to correlate behaviors between different areas of the infrastructure. Anything that can help them pick up on correlations or trends is of value. However, application developers who are running their application on a IaaS platform might appreciate this data as well, since they may not have system administration staff to support them.
This dual focus leads to some questions around the customer acquisition strategy and positioning. Even in a world where DevOps is beginning to see traction, there is still a line of demarcation between application developers and infrastructure operations people. Each group has a distinct set of needs, and a product that tries to cater to both groups might not catch on with either one. I’m sure Datadog will address this question in the coming months as they move from Alpha into wider distribution.
- imabonehead: The 5 Goals Of Agile And DevOps – Agile Web Operations (agileweboperations.com)
- DevOps: A New Approach to An Old Problem (just-another.net)