Channel chiefs, Channel partner programs, MSP

Datadog Recruits New Relic’s John Gray for MSP Cloud Monitoring Push

Datadog, a fast-growing cloud and application monitoring company, has recruited New Relic and Oracle veteran John Gray as senior vice president of alliances. Not by coincidence, Datadog also launched software updates that are tailored for MSPs, VARs and other types of channel partners.

Datadog competes against a pack of next-generation monitoring platforms -- particularly New Relic and Cisco's recently acquired AppDynamics. Other key players include CA Technologies and Dynatrace, among others.

This market sector is growing fast. Cisco paid a frothy $3.7 billion for AppDynamics in January. And just last week, New Relic announced Q4 revenues of $73.34 million -- up nearly 40 percent from Q4 2016.

Datadog is privately held and venture funded, which means the company is likely pursuing some sort of path to potential IPO. It's a safe guess the company will need plenty of channel partners and IT service providers to propel the company toward public markets.

Datadog vs. Traditional MSP RMM Software

Datadog and its rivals could also disrupt more traditional RMM (remote monitoring and management tools), which typically allow MSPs to monitor customer servers, desktops and mobile devices. As more of those customer workloads float off to the cloud, Datadog and its core rivals appear well-positioned to capture MSP attention.

With that opportunity in mind, Datadog has launched Federated Accounts -- a multi-tenant approach that allows MSPs to manage multiple accounts from a single login. The company disclosed the Federated Account R&D effort to ChannelE2E several months ago.

Meanwhile, Gray's career move is a huge political and strategic win for Datadog. His track record at New Relic and Oracle, among other career experience, could instantly give Datadog more credibility in the IT monitoring and management partner ecosystem.

Gray was instrumental in New Relic's partner program and strategic alliance build-out. Key New Relic parters include 2nd WatchAteaSlalom Consulting, and SoftwareONE. He arrives at Datadog at a key time. The company's partner program is in its infancy -- though some MSPs have been embracing Datadog's monitoring tools.

Web-Scale Infrastructure, Application Monitoring

So what makes Datadog so different from traditional IT monitoring tools? There are two key answers.

First, Datadog has a webscale design -- which means the tool scales up or down based on customer workloads. Instead of manually setting up Datadog to manage each new cloud instance, it simply expands or contracts based on real-time workloads.

Second, Datadog is expanding from infrastructure monitoring to application performance management (APM). The company believes that move gives it a complete approach to managing and monitoring cloud workloads.

Still, that approach isn't entirely unique. Rival New Relic is attacking the challenge from the opposite direction -- extending from APM down to infrastructure monitoring.

Generally speaking, most traditional MSPs are very late to the APM and cloud infrastructure monitoring game. At Datadog, Gray will need t0 light a fire under MSPs that continue to hug on-premises workloads, and he'll also need to attract key MSPs that have strategic cloud monitoring plans under development.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.