APM, CSPs, DevOps, IT management, MSP

Datadog Cloud Monitoring Attracts MSPs, Channel Partners

Marc Weisman
Marc Weisman
Scott Haylon
Alex Rosemblat

Datadog, which offers "cloud-scale" infrastructure monitoring, has quietly attracted MSPs and channel partners into its technology ecosystem. It's a safe bet those partner efforts will accelerate as Datadog now extends toward application performance monitoring (APM) -- and potential competition with AppDynamics and New Relic.

During a two-hour meeting at Datadog's New York headquarters today, key team members described the company's overall monitoring history and ongoing strategy -- especially as it pertains to MSPs and channel partners. The conversations included:

  • Alex Rosemblat, VP of marketing
  • Scott Haylon, director of business development
  • Marc Weisman, product manager

Datadog Cloud-Scale Monitoring: What Is It?

Datadog's focus and business model are quite different than traditional RMM (remote monitoring and management) tools that MSPs leverage for small business IT support.

In Datadog's case, the company's cloud-based platform typically monitors core infrastructure found in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and/or Google Cloud Platform. Corporate IT departments -- particularly DevOps teams -- rank among Datadog's key adopters.

Among the components Datadog monitors:

  1. Load balancers
  2. Web servers
  3. Application servers (a new capability currently in beta)
  4. Database servers

Wrap those four areas together, and Datadog claims it can help MSPs and their end-customers to track and troubleshoot cloud workload performance. Also: You'll notice that Datadog doesn't monitor the "network." The reason? Amazon, for instance, quietly takes care of network connections within AWS, notes Rosemblat.

Datadog MSPs, Channel Partners

So where do partners fit into the conversation? That's where Scott Haylon, director of business development, enters the picture. Haylon joined Datadog in June 2015, and has been working closely with all types of partners -- from resellers to MSPs. The MSPs, in particular, have been "sweet spot" partners so far.

Key MSP partners include Trek10 (U.S.), CorpInfo (U.S.), Nordcloud (the Nordics) and Emind (Israel), among others. Most of the MSPs are assisting customers with infrastructure monitoring in public clouds, but some also are assisting with OpenStack monitoring.

Over time, Datadog may also work closely with global systems integrators. "We hear from those folks frequently," says Haylon. "But we started with small to midmarket MSPs to ensure we could really understand partner needs and feature requests. We're getting ready for the global systems integrators of the world now."

"We're certainly in the mode of constantly bringing in new partners," says Haylon. "There's lots of inbound interest. At the same time it’s not just about new leads. We want to be a quality partner to the service providers. We're really about making it a really bi-directional relationship. They have to get fantastic value from the product. We're making sure if issues pop up they are easily resolved."

Datadog vs. Rivals: Business Reality Check

It sounds like Datadog's business is growing rapidly. Key adopters include Twilio, Airbnb, Netflix, EA, Spotify, Warner Bros. Games and AdRoll. Still, it's difficult to pinpoint the company's overall business performance since Datadog is privately held. The company in early 2016 raised $94.5 million in an "oversubscribed" Series D funding. That money has been earmarked for global expansion and R&D, the company said at the time.

The big near-term showdown will likely position Datadog against application performance monitoring (APM) rivals like AppDynamics and New Relic. Datadog started at the infrastructure level and is now pushing into APM. In contrast, New Relic started at APM and is pushing toward infrastructure monitoring. For its part, AppDynamics remains mainly in the APM sector, I believe.

Both AppDynamics and New Relic are set to host major customer gatherings in November. It's a safe bet New Relic will use the conference to evangelize its new APM efforts.

Traditional RMM vs Datadog

In most cases, I don't expect traditional RMM tools for MSPs to compete with Datadog. The use cases and target customers frequently are different.

However, some overlap could emerge. MSP software providers like CA Technologies (Unified Information Management), ManageEngine, SolarWinds (their corporate monitoring tools) and Kaseya (Traverse) increasingly have cloud infrastructure monitoring capabilities.

Still, names like Datadog represent the latest wave of monitoring tools. Some MSPs already are riding that wave. I sense Datadog will take some steps to bring even more MSPs into its ecosystem later this year...

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.