Datadog Extends Kubernetes Observability Reach

During the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 conference, Datadog added support for the Datadog Operator for Kubernetes, Amazon EKS Blueprints Add-On, Helm integration and OpenTelemetry Span Ingestion to its container monitoring service for Kubernetes environments.

In addition, IT teams can now employ the Datadog Cloud Security Posture Management and Cloud Workload Security to Kubernetes clusters. Finally, application performance management (APM) service pages now surface more detailed Kubernetes pod information.

Ilan Rabinovitch, senior vice president of product for Datadog, says these enhancements are part of an overall company effort to extend observability into Kubernetes environments as far left as possible as more developers assume responsibility for managing IT environments. That’s especially critical in Kubernetes environments, where microservices-based applications constructed using containers are especially challenging to manage, he adds.

Once Datadog agent software is installed, it monitors organizations’ entire Kubernetes environment using dashboards and monitors that are designed to be accessible to developers and IT operations teams alike, says Rabinovitch. Datadog also announced support for the OpenTelemetry Protocol in its agent software. That capability enables Datadog to consume metrics from applications that have been instrumented with the open source OpenTelemetry agent software developed under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) without having to install a separate OpenTelemetry collector.

Datadog has been making a case for a converged approach to monitoring IT operations and security that has evolved into becoming an observability platform. It’s still early days as far as adoption of observability platforms is concerned, but it’s apparent that platforms that unify the collection of metrics, logs and traces across applications and the IT infrastructure they run on are transforming how IT is managed. Most DevOps teams today can continuously monitor IT environments using tools that track a set of pre-defined metrics; observability platforms make it possible to aggregate data so that DevOps teams can launch queries and uncover the root cause of an IT issue.

The challenge is that most IT teams are not quite sure what questions they should ask to get the most value from investment in an observability platform. Observability platforms that accurately surface issues without requiring much intervention from IT teams will see greater adoption, says Rabinovitch.

As IT environments continue to evolve, a much larger percentage of applications will be instrumented. The bulk of new applications being developed today are based on microservices and require some level of instrumentation to manage. In contrast, most organizations only instrumented a small subset of their monolithic applications due to the cost of legacy APM platforms and the challenges associated with deploying agent software at scale. Scale, of course, is still an issue, but it is clear that modern application environments can’t be effectively managed without some type of agent software that provides instrumentation.

One way or another, observability is coming to application environments. In fact, there is no shortage of options for achieving it, to one degree or another. The only real question that remains is how long it will take to instrument modern applications at scale.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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