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Graylog vs Datadog

Graylog vs Datadog

Ilija Miljkovac UPDATED: April 3, 2023

Datadog is a well-established network monitoring software. Graylog is mainly a log management tool; however, the up-and-coming star is getting compared to the bigger tools more and more often. With Graylog pushing out update after update, has it come to the point where it can compete as a network monitoring tool?

Many businesses come to this comparison as well, and today we’ll be looking to settle the Graylog vs. Datadog debate once and for all.

In this article, we’ll be looking over how both of these tools perform and how they can benefit your business. Finally, we’ll be making a verdict on which of these two tools is more likely to help you manage your network.

What Is A Network Monitoring System And Why Do I Need One?

A network monitoring solution is any piece of software or hardware that enables you to keep track of your network’s metrics. These cover statistics about your network’s health and performance, such as network traffic, data usage, uptime, and many others.

Tracking these metrics is crucial for success in today’s increasingly tech-dominated world. With that being said, keeping track of all of this by hand is only barely possible as a smaller business. As your business grows, you have to begin cutting corners, as it’s practically impossible to track all of these exponentially growing metrics manually. Because of this, most businesses use a network monitoring tool.

For large businesses and enterprises, this is even more crucial. Simple issues like mismanagement of data or losing a set of logs can become a large issue. Meanwhile, larger problems like cyberattacks and data leaks begin to crop up. So instead of trying to keep all of this in control by hand, enterprises will nearly always employ the assistance of a network monitoring tool.

With that being said, that’s not all they’re good for. Network monitoring tools are also great for optimizing the resource usage of your network and predicting how this usage is likely to change soon.

Graylog Product Highlights

Now, as Graylog hasn’t quite come into its own as a fully-fledged network monitoring system quite yet, we’ll be assuming the usage of some peripheral software such as Grafana in this comparison. Otherwise, Datadog would come out on top simply on the merit of being a complete network monitoring solution.

What Graylog brings to the table is that it’s easily integrated with these tools and brings with it excellent log management capabilities.

Graylog comes in two distinct versions:

  • Graylog Open Source This is a 100% free version of Graylog that still provides your business with a compelling log management solution. SMBs might find that this version of Graylog is all that it needs. Unlike most other software that offers a “free” version, the open-source version of Graylog isn't half bad and gives you all of the essential features software like this should provide.
  • Graylog Enterprise Although the open-source version of Graylog isn’t wrong, the Enterprise version gives you pretty much everything you could ask for in a log management solution.

Main Features

  • Lots of content packs to help you get up and running as fast as possible
  • Correlation engine that can help you interpret all of your data
  • Modern UI
  • It has an open-source version

Pros:

  • Was built to un-silo and ingest large amounts of data
  • Uses simple widgets to create custom reports, dashboards, and monitors
  • Offers Content Packs, which act as add-ons to help interpret data faster
  • Additional features can be found on the user-powered community marketplace

Cons:

  • The open-source version isn’t the best option for large enterprises

Datadog Product Highlights

Datadog was founded in 2010, and it has been providing excellent monitoring options for businesses across the world ever since then. With both on-prem and cloud installations available, Datadog is a great flexible pick for a network monitoring solution. Furthermore, its intricate dashboard is paired with an abundance of customizable settings, one of which is its robust alert system.

Datadog has recently started acquiring many companies within the network monitoring space, which has led to it expanding the range of services it offers to its users. Another one of its perks is how easily it integrates with different service stacks, supporting over 450 integrations at the moment.

Datadog’s pricing model is relatively simple:

  • Network Performance Tier This tier is made for SMBs, priced at $5 for each function you need, and can often be the most efficient way to get the most out of Datadog for an SMB.
  • Infrastructure Tier Medium network owners should look at this tier, as it seeks to offer a centralized but network-encompassing solution.
  • APM Tier Although a bit expensive at $31 per host, this enterprise-level tier is made with various specialized features like service and device layer fixing that can help boost an enterprise’s network to new heights.

Although there are other tiers, they’re mainly specialized tiers such as the log management tier (giving you just the log management features of Datadog), the serverless tier, and so on. These are ideal if you’re only looking to get a few things out of the tool.

Main Features

  • Excellent UI that’s easy to use for both newcomers and experienced technicians
  • Simple integration with most commonly used apps such as Slack, PagerDuty, email, and others
  • A variety of customization options that helps you set Datadog up so that it does exactly what you need it to
  • The abundance of data analytics features makes it double as a data analytics tool if you need one

Pros:

  • Offers numerous real user monitors via templates and widgets
  • Can monitor both internally and externally giving network admins a holistic view of network performance and accessibility
  • Changes made to the network are reflected in near real-time
  • Allows businesses to scale their monitoring efforts reliably through flexible pricing options

Cons:

  • Would like to see a longer trial period for testing

Graylog & Datadog Head-To-Head

Log Management

Let’s start with the category Graylog banks the most on- log management. Graylog does provide some excellent quality in this area, with its many ways of visualizing logs and mechanical ability to set apart essential logs from unimportant ones.

With that being said, Datadog has recently become a great log manager as well. It contains Graylog’s most essential features and is generally a better choice than Graylog’s open-source version.

We feel that Graylog’s enterprise version wins out in this comparison by a decent margin due to its more high-level features and superior log alert system.

User Interface

Both Datadog and Graylog have sleek, modern-looking UIs. At first glance, it would seem as if the two tools were in very close contention here. However, customers have complained that Graylog’s UI is often clunky and unwieldy to use.

Datadog, on the other hand, is a breeze to use. The UI is not only modern but also highly intuitive.

All in all, Datadog is simply a step ahead in this category.

OS & Customer Support

An area where Graylog lacks currently is customer support- as they only offer chat support. Datadog, on the other hand, provides chat, email, and phone support to their users. One thing it does have going for it is its in-person training option, which might be a great boon depending on your location.

For OS support, Datadog will work on all three major operating systems(Windows, Linux, and macOS), while Graylog is only available on Linux operating systems.

Unless you give the in-person training a very high value, Datadog wins in this category.

Network Monitoring

Graylog, together with some peripheral tools like Grafana, can make for quite an available network monitoring tool. The problem is, Datadog is a lot more than serviceable in that department.

For a smaller business, the open-source version of Graylog combined with a tool like this can be enough; however, if you’ve got the funds, Datadog eclipses Graylog’s enterprise version in this category.

Installation & Setup

Installation and setup times can be pretty crucial for getting your network attended to as quickly as possible. Both Datadog and Graylog support a cloud and on-prem version.

With that being said, Datadog can be a bit of a hassle to set up, especially with an agent being necessary, even if you go for the cloud version. Of course, Graylog isn’t always a breeze either, but it has been consistently easier to set up than Datadog.

Cost

If cost is a significant concern, the Graylog open-source version does a very serviceable job as a log management tool. However, it is quite lacking in the network monitoring department. The Graylog enterprise version also tends to come out cheaper than the Datadog APM. However, Datadog eclipses Graylog’s performance in most areas before that tier, so if you’re looking to pay money, Datadog is the better choice.

This is quite close; however, since Graylog has a free version, it edges out in this category.

Reporting

Datadog doesn’t have traditional reports; instead, it relies on its highly intuitive graphical data presentation and dashboards. Although this can do a great job sometimes, many managers would prefer to generate traditional reports.

Graylog can generate reports in many different formats, and they’re pretty detailed. Although the presentation leaves a bit to be desired, no question having a reporting feature beats not having one.

Graylog VS Datadog Verdict

Although at the surface level, this comparison seems quite close- it’s relatively clear cut.

If you need a free tool or require excellent reporting capabilities, in addition to having a Linux-based network, Graylog is the choice for you.

Generally, however, we feel that Datadog’s extensive list of features, together with its 450 integrations and good log management capabilities, is simply a step ahead of Graylog’s Enterprise version.

Which one of these tools do you prefer?

What two tools would you like us to compare next?

Let us know in the comments below!

Graylog vs Datadog FAQs

What is Graylog?

Graylog is an open-source log management platform that allows users to collect, index, and analyze log data from different sources. Graylog provides features such as real-time log monitoring, alerts, dashboards, and search capabilities to help users troubleshoot issues and gain insights into their systems and applications.

What is Datadog?

Datadog is a cloud-based monitoring and analytics platform that provides real-time visibility into infrastructure, applications, logs, and user experience. Datadog uses machine learning and analytics to deliver insights and performance metrics to help IT teams identify and resolve issues quickly.

What are the differences between Graylog and Datadog?

While both Graylog and Datadog provide log management and monitoring capabilities, there are some key differences between the two platforms. For example:

  • Focus: Graylog is primarily focused on log management and analysis, while Datadog provides broader monitoring and analytics capabilities for a wide range of IT systems and applications.
  • Open source: Graylog is an open-source platform, while Datadog is a proprietary, cloud-based platform.
  • Cost: Graylog is generally a more cost-effective option than Datadog, as it is open-source and users can host it on their own servers.
  • Integrations: Datadog has a larger ecosystem of integrations with other tools and platforms, while Graylog has fewer integrations.

Which platform is better, Graylog or Datadog?

The choice between Graylog and Datadog depends on the specific needs and requirements of the organization. Graylog is a good choice for organizations that need an open-source, cost-effective log management platform with robust search and analysis capabilities. Datadog is a good choice for organizations that need a broader range of monitoring and analytics capabilities for a wide range of IT systems and applications, and that want a cloud-based, managed service.