Application performance monitoring is crucial to helping ensure apps are delivering the significant business value they are designed for. Although application monitoring isn’t as simple as checking load times, it becomes quicker and easier with advanced and reliable application performance monitoring (APM) tools. These tools help organizations to get an overview of the application’s health and deliver key insights into its performance by tracking aspects such as uptime, real-life user data, and more.
While choosing an APM tool for purposes like business-impact analytics, code-level diagnostics, and end-user experience monitoring, it’s important to have a baseline criterion to assess. The criteria include key considerations such as programming language support, cloud support, reporting and analytics, agent vs. agentless, technical support, AI capabilities, and pricing. Datadog and SolarWinds® AppOptics™ are the two sophisticated APM tools offering advanced analytical features such as distributed tracing, live code profiling, exception tracking, root-cause analysis, intelligent alerting, Azure monitoring, custom dashboards, and AWS integrations.
Datadog vs. AppOptics: An Introduction
Comparing Datadog and AppOptics requires taking a closer look at the features, functionalities, and capabilities they offer.
Datadog is a next-generation SaaS-based monitoring and analytical solution for servers, applications, databases, and services. It can troubleshoot issues and optimize end-to-end application performance. The tool helps collect log events from various apps, services, and systems. It enables users to capture latency and error distribution data from across the development stack. With its intuitive dashboards, Datadog helps ensure data is accessible to teams as required and can be visualized in real-time to provide full-stack observability. The tool helps notify relevant teams about bugs with its advanced alerting feature. It provides insights into application performance by monitoring user behavior, running AI-powered tests using machine learning to identify business-critical issues and anomalies.
SolarWinds AppOptics is a monitoring solution designed to provide insights into servers, applications, and infrastructure performance metrics. It can also be used for modern hybrid infrastructure monitoring to gain instant visibility into on-premises and cloud servers, VMs, and containers. It also offers advanced features such as distributed transaction tracing, customizable and pre-populated dashboards, 150+ plugins and integrations, pre-configured alerts and metrics, application service maps, and more. AppOptics uses the SolarWinds Snap Agent plugin to collect, process, and publish data from various Windows servers. With these features, users can instantly identify hotspots and mitigate potential risks before they affect the end-user experience. AppOptics custom thresholds and altering system flags potential issues and integrates with Slack to offer seamless usability. It also enables professionals to monitor and analyze Java applications all the way down to the code level.
Outlined below is a comparative feature analysis of Datadog and AppOptics. This brief analytical comparison can help organizations, teams, and users choose a reliable and scalable APM solution for their business monitoring needs.
The dashboard is a critical component of an APM tool. They provide comprehensive details of application performance and enable users to visually track and analyze key performance metrics used to monitor the application, business, and specific processes. Datadog dashboards include functionalities such as copy, import, and export. The tool consists of two types of dashboards known as screen board and time boards. Screen boards get updated in real time and include multiple objects such as images, graphs, and logs. Time boards automatically provide either fixed data or real-time data to troubleshoot errors.
SolarWinds AppOptics provides intuitive and highly interactive dashboards. As the dashboards are grid-based, it’s easy to resize individual charts by dragging and dropping. Building, editing, and modifying charts with AppOptics dashboards is easy and fast. Users can embed charts in their own applications or site to get better insights into the figures and text. AppOptics dashboard key performance metrics include tags, also known as metadata. Using tags is convenient and handy as users don’t have to add data streams to build a graph or chart individually.
A product requires documentation to define its value and purpose. Sometimes support representatives aren’t around to assist customers with their queries. In such cases, the query may be simple, but users might get frustrated and choose an alternative to the product. You need product documentation to help users get the answers to their queries without needing to contact support. Product documentations serve as a knowledge base for users and includes every minute detail about the product, features, and functionalities. It should be simple and easy to help users better understand the product.
Datadog and AppOptics are well-grounded application and infrastructure monitoring tools that include various integrations and capabilities. Both tools offer comprehensive documentation to resolve users’ queries and doubts. However, Datadog documentation is more developer-centric and needs expertise to understand various product operations. AppOptics includes simple documentation along with manuals, listings, diagrams, graphic visualizations, and more.
Root Cause Analysis
Applications constantly change. With an increasing number of key performance metrics, it becomes difficult to pinpoint the root cause of the issues promptly. Application monitoring tools perform root-cause analysis to identify the actual cause of the problem and troubleshoot bottlenecks.
Datadog uses metric correlations to find irregularities. Despite manually scanning thousands of metrics from different sources, the tool automates the process to discern errors and trends. In contrast, AppOptics uses service- and trace-level root-cause summaries to identify application performance issues and help you understand the connection between services and their dependencies. The tool involves three significant steps to provide a detailed root-cause analysis:
- Application service maps
- Service summary
- Trace summary
With its auto-instrumented application service map, the tool helps drill down into a specific service to provide in-depth analysis and performance metrics. It provides a service summary, including request rate, response time, error rate, and CPU utilization, to pinpoint spikes, latency, and jitters. The trace summary automatically evaluates the transaction and highlights the reason for the slow service.
Today, businesses entirely depend on their online presence. Downtime and poor performing applications can directly impact the business’s bottom line. With proper web monitoring services, teams can easily drill down to access performance data. Both Datadog and AppOptics are advanced and easy-to-use application and infrastructure monitoring tools with advanced capabilities. AppOptics is an excellent all-around option. Exception tracing, live code profiling, dozens of AWS and Azure service metrics, and unlimited standard and custom metrics makes it a great Datadog alternative. Try out the free trial version to get a better understanding of its features and functionalities.
*As of July 2020