Category Archives: Cloud

Datadog part 1: Who let the dogs out?

TL;DR Datadog is a SaaS monitoring solution with an impressive list of integrations, including vCenter and AWS. Their agent is open source. They have impressive dashboarding and now feature logging and APM.

As part of my newly won freedom from vendors this year, I am looking at some options to manage your VMware environment. Of course vRealize Operations is still my baby, but choice is a good thing and in some cases you might be interested in looking at other solutions. Like when you look at prices to manage your full stack environment…

Datadog home screen.

Datadog is a very popular choice at the moment. You see their booths at DockerCon, AWS Summits and their engineers do a lot of public talks. Founded in NYC by two French, their claim to fame is that they are a SaaS solution. Yes, you install agents in your infrastructure to send data to their cloud engine. A few things stand out here:

  • The agent is open source! So you have complete visibility in the very optimised code they use and you can even change it if you want.
  • The SaaS model has it’s advantages: think about all the metrics you want to gather in your infrastructure. Do you really want to maintain servers and storage to keep those? Datadog keeps them in a – dare I say – data lake and allows you to do some nifty stuff with it. More on that later.
  • They have more than 250 integrations! I was used to the Blue Medora plugins catalogue but this is insane ! I am not going to list them all, just look at their page.

Datadog is very strong in cloud solutions, they are an AWS partner, but also shine in cloud native solutions. They are now venturing in logging and APM! It all reminds me a bit of what Blue Medora is trying to do with Bindplane, but you do not have the connectivity out to other monitoring systems (safe Grafana) but you get very cool dashboarding. Really cool dashboarding! This is where the solutions feels really different to me. You can build very beautiful and responsive dashboards, you can play with metrics in a notebook, you can even annotate a graph or part of it for your colleagues. It feels very much like monitoring for Millennials. You can also tie in comms systems for your monitors like Slack or PagerDuty. The system will also send you mails with daily updates.

In the next article I will dive into some highlights of integration with vCenter and AWS. If you want to try it out yourself get a trial on their home page. I am available as an independent contractor to work with you on evaluating a monitoring environment.

Accepted for vExpert 2018 !

A nice surprise at breakfast in my mailbox. I have been accepted for the VMware vExpert programme! I have been recognised as blogger and public speaker. Link to my public profile is here.

Big thanks to Kim Bottu and Tom Vallons for putting their shoulders under a new vExpert community in the Belux and helping us! Also special thanks to Erik Scholten for endorsing an old colleague…

It is very motivating and I look forward to new ways of putting in some good work for VMware cloud products!

vExpert logo

vExpert 2018

Moving clouds.. with Docker

The driving force in IT for me has always been commoditization. There is probably another blog post here, but we moved from the Bios to the processor, to storage and the network. Everything becomes a commodity at some point, or do you still care what BIOS version your server has? If you still have a server?

In 2008 I attended a CloudCamp where people were asking vendors: “but how do I move workloads between cloud providers?”. Of course there was no answer because public cloud was not a commodity back then, it was just an emerging tech and they all wanted to monetize. Compare your AWS prices from back then to now if you don’t believe me…

Today I realize that containers are making cloud a commodity finally. It does not matter if you run your Docker containers in AWS or Azure or other cloud services. The apps and services remain the same. With Docker Enterprise Edition – the vCenter of Docker – you can manage them all from one pane. I realized that even more with the announcement of IBM Cloud support in Docker EE in the keynote this morning. So now you have AWS, Azure and IBM cloud support built-in for your swarm clusters (and soon kubernetes). Google cloud is experimental at the moment I understand. I played around with Docker for Mac CE deploying a swarm to AWS and I must say the experience is seemless.

So there you go: when all your apps run in containers, they can be moved around on different clouds or even run on different ones in one stack!

So where is the ‘spiel’ now you ask? In added services from those cloud providers. IBM showed in the keynote adding image recognition and Watson lookup in a traditional pet store app. Watson, Alexa and the likes are the proprietary differentiators now. For a next blog…