Manage Incidents Seamlessly With the Datadog Slack Integration | Datadog

Manage incidents seamlessly with the Datadog Slack integration

Author Shah Ahmed
Author Brianne Bujnowski
Author Aaron Kaplan

Published: 5月 7, 2024

Modern, distributed application architectures pose particular challenges when it comes to coordinating incident management. DevOps, SREs, and security teams—often spread out across separate locations and time zones, and equipped with limited knowledge of each other’s services—must work quickly to collaboratively triage, troubleshoot, and mitigate customer impact. Frequent context-switching all too often becomes the norm: Teams scramble to wrangle and share data from many different sources, delegate and collaborate on steps towards remediation, and keep many different stakeholders in the loop. Meanwhile, poor management of incidents can have a wide range of detrimental effects, costing precious time, fueling burnout, and threatening customer satisfaction and retention.

Together with Datadog Incident Management, the Datadog Slack integration helps teams streamline their handling of incidents by minimizing context-switching and simplifying collaboration. It helps speed up incident response and enables seamless end-to-end documentation of every incident, which can offer enormous advantages when it comes to building resilience. If you’re already using Slack, you can use this integration to manage every step of the incident life cycle—from initial detection and triage through collaborative response, resolution, and postmortem analysis—without pivoting away from the UI you use to stay in touch on a daily basis.

In this post, we’ll guide you through using the Datadog Slack integration to declare incidents and put a coordinated response in motion with a single message, keep stakeholders on the same page with a central source of truth, and easily document incidents in detail for postmortem analysis.

Put a coordinated response in motion with a single message

Used in tandem with Datadog Incident Management, the Datadog Slack integration can help you quickly put your incident response in motion at the first sign of an issue. With the /datadog incident command, anyone can declare an incident from any Slack channel with the Datadog integration, which can be installed via the Slack App Directory. This command opens a modal in which you can quickly initiate your incident response by:

  • Setting down key information, including a summary of the incident and its severity level, in order to orient responders and other stakeholders monitoring the incident
  • Assigning an incident commander and delegating positions on the response team
  • Sending custom notifications to responders and other stakeholders
Declaring an incident with a command to the integration

Clicking “Declare Incident” will create the incident in Datadog Incident Management. It will also create a Slack channel for the incident.

From the Integration Settings in Datadog Incident Management, you can ensure that a dedicated Slack channel is automatically created for each incident declared using Datadog. Here, you can also configure settings to automatically:

  • Push all messages from dedicated incident channels to the associated incident timelines. Incident timelines can help you construct a chronology of each incident with data pulled from across Datadog and our integrations, including Slack messages. These timelines can prove indispensable during postmortem analysis.
  • Add important links to incident channels’ bookmarks via other Datadog integrations—for example, Zoom rooms for responders or Jira tickets for tracking and delegating the response.
  • Archive incident Slack channels once resolution is declared, helping you keep your Slack workspace tidy.

Declaring incidents from within Slack can be particularly effective when you’ve configured monitor alerts to be sent via Slack. Let’s say you receive a Slack message from Datadog notifying you of an elevated error rate in a mission-critical service. With the /datadog incident command, you can put a coordinated response in motion and start documenting the incident within seconds, without pivoting between applications.

Keep stakeholders on the same page with a central source of truth

Incident channels created with Datadog help you quickly coordinate with responders and other stakeholders and ensure that they’re kept up to speed. The title bar for each incident Slack channel created with Datadog includes the incident’s severity level and current status, along with its description. As mentioned above, you can also place important links here—or configure the integration to do so automatically—so that responders can quickly access key resources related to the incident.

To help you work quickly, the integration provides an action tray within each incident Slack channel created with Datadog. From here, you can update the incident status and description, add responders, page on-call team members, navigate to the incident timeline in the Datadog app, or start a Zoom meeting for channel members with a single click.

The action tray lets team members quickly coordinate and update incident statuses

Our Bits AI copilot can help you further streamline the process of bringing responders up to speed. Bits AI automatically sends a concise, up-to-the-minute incident summary to each new member of an incident channel as they join. This helps eliminate the need for those jumping in mid-incident to play catch-up by scrolling through backlogs of messages, which can save response teams precious time as they work to limit the impact of incidents on customers.

Bits AI automatically provides incident summaries to quickly bring responders up to speed

You can also configure the integration to automatically send incident updates, such as changes in status, to a global Slack channel. This can help you keep stakeholders not directly involved in incident response in the loop on important developments.

Document incidents in detail for postmortem analysis

In addition to helping you quickly get your response off the ground and keep teams in sync as incidents unfold, the Datadog Slack integration helps you build a highly detailed picture of each incident. This can be a major asset during an incident, and especially after the fact, during postmortem analysis.

Postmortem incident analysis can be essential for analyzing and improving your incident management process in both the short and the long term. It can also be essential for maintaining accountability in the event of a customer-facing incident.

By default, all messages in your incident channels will be mirrored to the associated incident timelines in Datadog, helping you document every step of your response. You can also manually add any Slack message to an incident timeline in a few clicks.

Add any Slack message to an incident timeline in a few clicks

With this level of granular insight into your incident response, you can precisely analyze the steps taken towards resolution and contextualize them in incident timelines alongside other relevant data from across Datadog. This way, you can build a high-resolution picture of every incident, from initial causes to your teams’ response, in order to take a data-driven approach towards refining your response processes. It can also help you provide the type of substantive answers that can be essential for maintaining accountability with your customers.

Minimize context switching to speed up and easily document your incident response

Combined with Datadog Incident Management, the Datadog Slack integration provides DevOps, SREs, and security teams with key tools for collaboration during incidents, including centralized access to key data and the ability to quickly communicate and get up to speed—all in the same UI you use to keep in touch with your organization every day. By minimizing the need for context-switching, the integration can help you speed up your incident response and easily document incidents for postmortem analysis.

Datadog customers can get started with Incident Management and install our integration from the Slack App Directory today. You can also learn more about managing incidents with Datadog elsewhere on our blog. And if you’re new to Datadog, you can sign up for a 14-day .