I don’t post much on this forum, I mostly lurk and learn. I am thankful for the many here who post great insights and perspective, it has really helped me and my returns. This is one opportunity where I thought I may be able to help others with some of my thoughts.
In my IT related role, I gain experience first hand or research topics for strategic planning purposes. In response to a thread comparing CRWD and DDOG investment in another forum, multiple respondents chimed in about the virtues of CRWD, and why it is a good investment. I felt the urge to share some thoughts about what DDOG does for companies like mine. So I posted the following.
I am invested in both [CRWD and DDOG] for different reasons. These players operate in different niches, but they are two sides of the same coin.
As [name withheld] noted, CRWD is focused on endpoint security, which is growing increasingly important with the proliferation of mobile and IOT. With all sorts of intelligent computing devices popping up everywhere, security is very important, so CRWD is benefiting from the trend. But just as important is monitoring, tracking and managing all those endpoints, interacting with each other. That is where DDOG is essential.
As anyone even minimally involved in IT knows, the above proliferation has led to IT sprawl. Servers, workstations, laptops, phones, and millions of different devices are contributing and consuming data at exponential rates. Knowing what all these endpoints are up to, how they are performing, and if they are doing something unexpected is where DataDog shines.
These days there are literally billions, if not trillions, of lines of logs being generated every day in a typical enterprise by the sprawling endpoints mentioned above. No human can track even a tiny fraction, let alone all of it, even in the smallest enterprise. You need tools that can rapidly collect, ingest, categorize, analyze and act on all that noise in near real time. That’s what DataDog does.
DataDog provides visibility to the enterprise systems, where IT personnel can instantaneously assess how their systems are behaving through easy to understand visual dashboards. Out of the box, the tooling is already smart enough to know how to ingest and understand the feeds from common systems, like the various AWS, Microsoft Azure and other types of servers, appliances and IT endpoints. It also has easy to use scripting and ingest capabilities to create custom monitors and interfaces for less common endpoint types.
Another major benefit of a tool set like DataDog is the rule-sets you can create with it to enable IT to highlight and act upon anomalies and exceptions, triggering alerts, or even automating responses to events occurring in real time. It gives the IT team power to instantaneously react to threats and irregularities with the greatest of ease.
Let’s take an example; Suppose the marketing team releases a new campaign to boost sales of some widget, and the campaign suddenly drives millions of new buyers to your e-commerce site. Your DataDog monitors have been tracking usage in real time, and the traffic monitor rule-set you trained highlights that website traffic is up 20% over normal, and customers are starting to experience delays exceeding 20 seconds while trying to navigate your online catalog and checking out. Worse, your mobile customer traffic is up 90% over normal, and those customers are experiencing 1 minute delays, and it is only 8:00am.
Your DataDog monitors automatically trigger alerts to key personnel and management, highlight the abnormal activity on the dashboard, and instantaneously fire off automated events to startup 2 additional web site servers, and 5 additional mobile servers. Within 1 minutes from the first alert your systems have automatically addressed the surge, and a harmful site crash was averted.
That’s a simple use case, but there are far more complex situations where the power of a tool set like DataDog can avert hackers, trigger alerts and notifications, fire off automated responses to deal with complex irregularities, and allow a small group of technologists to monitor the vast sprawling networks of systems and endpoints that would be otherwise impossible. Besides powerful real-time monitoring, these tools are also excellent at producing metrics and giving corporations insight into their IT landscape, so they can better plan their growth and react to changing conditions and demands. Imagine being able to instantaneously know exactly how many users are currently browsing your catalog, how many have a certain item in their shopping cart, how quickly your inventory is being depleted, how many are abandoning their carts, how many are using fraudulent credit cards, etc., etc., etc.
In the complex world of modern IT, the proliferation of technology would not be possible if there weren’t tools like DataDog or Sumo Logic and their ilk to enable the enterprises to monitor and manage it effectively. These tool sets may be less visible in the headlines, and they may not get a lot of credit for stopping a state-backed hacking attack, but modern IT operations would not be possible without them. Think of them as the ECU in your car, monitoring combustion events, ignition, valves, injectors, pumps, heat, cooling, and all the other things going on in a modern engine. These new engines would blow up in seconds if it wasn’t for modern engine management systems that keep things just shy of the explosive edge of self destruction.
CRWD and DDOG, among others, tame all that chaos, and enable innovators to extend the digital frontier.