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How the new Datadog plugin enhancements extend interoperability for our customers

15 Sep 2021 4 min read

At Grafana Labs, we have a “big tent” philosophy: We believe our users should be able to determine their own observability strategy and choose their own tools, so we help users bring different data sources together.

Datadog is a powerful product used by many teams, and we hear a lot from customers about how we should further embrace and support this critical data source — which is why we created the Datadog data source plugin a few years ago. Recently, our community and customers have asked us to provide a deeper interoperability with Datadog, offering an experience that is not limited by the Datadog API rate limits.

So today we are introducing a suite of new capabilities in the plugin:

  • The ability to host Datadog metrics in Grafana Cloud using an easy-to-use Datadog-compliant API
  • The ability to import Datadog dashboards into Grafana Cloud

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the new features and how to get started.

Datadog metrics, hosted in Grafana Cloud 

You can now send metrics from Datadog agents directly to Grafana Cloud, removing the need to rewrite instrumentation code. You can then query metrics stored in Grafana Cloud using the Datadog-style query language.

Behind the scenes, metrics are translated into Prometheus metrics while being received and hosted in your Grafana Cloud instance. This means that you can also query metrics sent by the Datadog agents using PromQL.

All of this can be done while keeping your Datadog infrastructure the same as before, with metrics fetched by the Datadog agents and sent to both Grafana Cloud and Datadog. You can also pause sending metrics to Datadog and only host them in Grafana Cloud without having to rewrite your instrumentation.

Detailed instructions on how to set up your Datadog agents with Grafana Cloud can be found in the documentation. This feature is included with the Datadog data source plugin at no additional cost.

A new way to translate your Datadog dashboards

Our new CLI tool translates certain Datadog dashboards into Grafana dashboards, simplifying the process of bringing dashboards to Grafana Cloud for Datadog data source users.

To download the translator, download the right binary for your operating system from this list:

Once you have downloaded a release, extract the binary from it:

# Extracting the binary and instructions
$ tar -xvf datadog-dash-translator_latest_Linux_x86_64.tar.gz
INSTRUCTIONS.md
datadog-dash-translator

Now it’s time to translate. Go to the Datadog UI and find the dashboard you want to translate. Then find its settings, and click Export dashboard JSON.

To translate it into a Grafana dashboard, run the following command:

$ ./datadog-dash-translator translate -i example-dashboard.json
INFO[0000] Successful read of datadog file "example-dashboard.json"
INFO[0000] Successful datadog dashboard translate
INFO[0000] Successful grafana dashboard write to "example-dashboard.json.grafana.json"

How to get started

You can use your Datadog metrics with Grafana Cloud in three easy steps:

  1. Configure the Datadog agent to submit metrics to Grafana Cloud.
  2. Configure your Grafana Cloud instance to use the Datadog data source, an Enterprise plugin that enables the visualization of Datadog metrics in Grafana. You don’t have to point the data source at the Datadog API; the data source will directly consume metrics hosted in Grafana Cloud, allowing for faster queries and no API rate limits.
  3. Run the Datadog dashboard translator to translate Datadog dashboards to the Grafana format, and upload the output to Grafana Cloud. The dashboards will connect to the Datadog data source.

It’s that simple. You can now explore and visualize your Datadog metrics in Grafana Cloud!

Getting more value with Grafana Cloud

Our fully managed Grafana Cloud offering is the easiest way to get started with metrics, logs, traces, and dashboards, and we have plans to suit every use case. Our team is committed to helping customers find value quickly with Grafana Cloud, allowing them to bring dashboards and alerts from any system. These releases in early access are a step toward our goal of extending our big tent from visualization to querying.

This tooling around Datadog has known limitations specified in our documentation. We would love to know if some of them are blocking you. If so, please reach out, so that we know what to add next to our tools.

You can find out more by reading the documentation and watching the on-demand video of the “Unify your data with Grafana plugins: Splunk, MongoDB, Datadog, and more” webinar. 

Before you get started, you must have a Grafana Cloud Advanced subscription with an Enterprise plugin license. 

Please contact us if you’d like to know more!