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Announcing next-generation APM

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Photo of K Young

APM is currently in private beta. Request access here.

Profiling code in isolation is no longer sufficient—to troubleshoot a modern application, you need to understand not only its code, but also how its execution is affected by the underlying infrastructure. So today we’re pleased to announce the biggest product enhancement to Datadog since we first launched in 2011:

Datadog is expanding into application performance monitoring (APM) to provide full-stack observability.

Dev & Ops: the traditional divide

Traditionally, APM and infrastructure monitoring have been provided by separate tools. These tools focused on different layers of the stack, and they were used by different people: APM was for developers, infrastructure monitoring was for IT or Ops teams.

This traditional divide has never been helpful. After all, a user-facing performance problem may arise from anywhere in the stack: load balancing, middleware, saturation of system resources, etc.

But the divide was tolerable for older software—before devops united dev and ops, and before infrastructure changed rapidly with autoscaling, microservices, and containerization. Now that code and infrastructure are both moving targets, how can you understand their intertwined behavior when observing them separately? You can’t—at least not well.

Full-stack observability

Most of you are using Datadog today for two things: 1) to monitor your infrastructure and 2) to support higher-level, metrics-driven analytics. Our goal with Datadog APM is to bridge the gap between these two use-cases and provide full-stack observability.

A full stack monitored by Datadog, including infrastructure, application, and analytics

Next-generation APM

Datadog APM gives you powerful tools to observe and optimize your application. It generates latency distributions for requests and can also decompose each request to help you identify granular inefficiencies. It captures throughput, latency, and error metrics, which you can use in standard Datadog graphs and alerts.

We built our APM functionality to be:

  • Infrastructure-aware
  • Deployed in minutes
  • Endlessly customizable
  • Comprehensive
  • An integral part of Datadog, so it includes long data retention, built-in communication tools, and more

Infrastructure-aware

Datadog APM screenshot including individual requests associated with hosts

Our APM understands infrastructure: whether it’s on-prem or in the cloud, whether it’s manually orchestrated or automated, and whether it’s running on bare metal, VMs, or containers. Datadog APM will identify the exact hosts, containers, databases, APIs, and other components that were part of the execution path—even as these hosts come and go in an ever-shifting cloud environment. Datadog gives you the ability to quickly troubleshoot observed problems by diving down into the right infrastructure metrics, without switching tools or contexts.

Datadog APM screenshot including individual requests associated with hosts

Just as importantly for full-stack correlation analysis, you can also mix metrics from your application and your infrastructure in a single dashboard—or even a single graph.

Deployed in minutes

APM is deployed just like the rest of Datadog: with a one-line agent installation that includes a suite of popular integrations. That means that you can roll out Datadog across your entire infrastructure in minutes.

Endlessly customizable

Datadog APM screenshot of a graph combining APM metrics with infrastructure metrics with arithmetic and applying a trend line

Like the rest of Datadog, APM is easily customized to best fit your needs:

  • Drag-and-drop APM dashboards let you get under the hood
  • Transaction sampling defaults can be adapted to your needs
  • You can navigate and filter traces to look at any slice—for example, to investigate traffic from one specific user
  • APM includes built-in support for common components like PostgreSQL, Django, memcached, etc.—and it is easy to add tracing to your own custom components, too

Comprehensive request tracing

Datadog APM screenshot of a flame graph spanning hosts

Datadog can trace requests from end to end, wherever they go: across many services, hosts, databases, caches, etc. That means you can identify bottlenecks in complex modern architectures, including microservices, just by looking at flame graphs and service summaries. Your runtime investigation is virtually unlimited as you can aggregate, filter, drill up, or drill down through requests and individually traced steps.

Each traced step also offers rich metadata so you can answer ad hoc questions such as “which requests touch a particular database table?”, or “which requests call a function in a certain way?”.

Core Datadog features

Datadog APM screenshot of a graph snapshot with a comment sent to Slack

If you have used Datadog, then you’re already familiar with some of the beloved core features that we’ve included in our APM:

  • rich collaboration tools to keep large teams in sync
  • sophisticated alerts with actionable context
  • 13-month data retention at full granularity

Request access

We’re now sharing Datadog APM with select customers. Request access to the private beta here.


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Announcing next-generation APM