Unify Your OpenTelemetry and Datadog Experience With the Embedded OTel Collector in the Agent | Datadog

Unify your OpenTelemetry and Datadog experience with the embedded OTel Collector in the Agent

Author Lutao Xie

Published: June 26, 2024

OpenTelemetry (OTel) is an open source, vendor-neutral observability solution that consists of a suite of components—including APIs, SDKs, and the OTel Collector—that allow teams to monitor their applications and services in a standardized format. OTel defines this data via the OpenTelemetry Protocol (OTLP), a standard for the encoding and transfer of telemetry data that organizations can use to collect, process, and export telemetry and route it to observability backends, such as Datadog.

Teams that use the OTel Collector have had limited access to Datadog observability solutions not supported by OTel. Conversely, teams using the Datadog Agent have not been able to take advantage of OTel capabilities.

We firmly believe that OpenTelemetry and Datadog are better together. Last fall, we announced support for W3C Trace Context and the OTel API in our libraries, enabling vendor-neutral instrumentation of users’ applications and OpenTelemetry interoperability in our native APM ecosystem. Today, we’re taking our next big step to unify the OpenTelemetry Collector and Datadog Agent experience. The Datadog Agent now embeds a fully configurable OTel Collector, enabling users to take advantage of Datadog’s industry-leading observability solutions while accessing the complete capabilities of the OTel Collector. Users can easily manage their fleet of embedded OTel Collectors with Datadog Fleet Automation and onboard faster with unified tagging, while also benefiting from Datadog’s enterprise reliability and resources.

In this blog post, we will walk you through how you can:

Access Datadog’s comprehensive observability alongside OpenTelemetry capabilities

Getting started is as simple as ensuring you are running the latest Agent. You can directly input your OTel configuration during Agent installation, and your OTel Collector configuration—and the pipelines defined by it—will continue to work with the Agent through the embedded Collector.

  helm install dd -f values.yaml
  --set datadog.otelcollector.enabled=true
  --set-file datadog.otelcollector.config=config.yaml
  --set datadog.apikey=${DD_API_KEY}"

With the Datadog Agent, you can now gain immediate access to the differentiated features provided by Datadog without compromising on the OTel capabilities you use today. This includes 750+ integrations, Live Container Monitoring, Network Performance Monitoring and Universal Service Monitoring (via eBPF), and more. Simultaneously, you can directly leverage the growing number of OTel community-contributed integrations to collect telemetry in OTLP native format (via OTel receivers), and exercise control over your OTLP data with full access to the Collector’s powerful processing (via OTel processors) and routing (via OTel exporters) capabilities. With both, you get interoperability across your observability stack, whether open source or vendor-based.

For example, let’s say you want to monitor the health and performance of your containerized environment. You can use Datadog’s industry-leading Live Container Monitoring and the Kubernetes exploration page to gain end-to-end visibility across all resource types (clusters, pods, nodes) in real time—providing a multi-dimensional view of your workloads. The Datadog Agent automatically discovers new containers and services that are created, making it easier to stay updated on your dynamic environment. The embedded OTel Collector is configured for supplying metrics, traces, and logs from OTel-instrumented applications. With Datadog native and OTLP data seamlessly correlated and enriched together, you have direct visibility into the OTLP metrics, traces, and logs from each container without context switching.

Monitor your containers with Datadog native and OTLP data seamlessly correlated together.

Manage your fleet of embedded OTel Collectors remotely and onboard faster without manual configurations

While OTel Collectors provide greater data flexibility and control, managing large fleets of collector configuration and deployments can be challenging.

With Datadog Fleet Automation, you can remotely govern and manage your fleet of embedded OTel Collectors for visibility into your entire configuration, dependencies, and runtime environment. Additionally, Fleet Automation makes it easy to troubleshoot configuration issues for the embedded OTel Collector. You can send a flare that automatically includes diagnostic information within the Datadog app to create or update a support ticket without logging into the affected host.

Furthermore, we offer out-of-the-box tagging enrichment for the OTLP data that automatically enables Datadog’s unified service tagging with no additional configuration needed, making the onboarding process for OpenTelemetry faster and ensuring an optimal monitoring experience.

Manage all of your OTel Collectors with Fleet Automation.

Take advantage of enterprise reliability and resources with Datadog

Datadog performs regular vulnerability scans and analysis for the Agent to identify configuration and software vulnerabilities and track remediation of the findings according to Datadog’s vulnerability management policy. Common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) for the OTel Collector components embedded in the Datadog Agent are treated with the same level of urgency, and you’ll receive prompt Datadog Agent updates along with community-managed OTel Collector releases.

You receive dedicated assistance for onboarding and troubleshooting from our global support team when using the Agent with OTel Collector and Datadog’s observability platform. With the one-click support ticket submission feature via Fleet Automation, Datadog technical support teams help streamline the resolution process for minimizing the time to resolution.

Take advantage of Datadog support and resources for your OTLP data.

Unify your OpenTelemetry and Datadog experience today

With the OTel Collector fully embedded into the Datadog Agent, OTel users now have access to comprehensive Datadog solutions like Live Container Monitoring and Universal Service Monitoring alongside the open source, data processing, and vendor-neutral capabilities of OpenTelemetry. The embedded OTel Collector in the Agent also allows users to seamlessly manage their fleet of OTel Collectors and benefit from the enterprise-grade resources of a unified platform.

To request access and for more information on the OTel Collector with Agent, please fill out our private beta form.