Datadog is among the best application monitoring tools out there. It's easy to get started with, scales well and provides a wealth of insights to DevOps, security, and product teams.
But while building new graphs is simple and flexible, monitoring, attributing and reducing Datadog costs can be incredibly complex. This is problematic because Datadog spending can make up a significant portion of your cloud bill yet even Datadog's internal cost management tool doesn't break down these costs.
In this article, we'll look at some cost optimization tips to help you cut your Datadog spending.
1. Remove unused tags
Datadog charges you for any metric that isn't created through one of its integration. Teams often get surprised by a huge Datadog bill after adding an ID or unbounded tag that results in a high number of custom metrics.
Figuring out which tag is causing the issue can be difficult but by removing unused tags you will be able to dramatically reduce costs.
2. Uninstall the Datadog agent
Take a look at your log volume to see what percentage of it is generated by the Datadog agent. Chances are, a good portion of your monthly bill goes towards what is essentially Datadog tracking its own performance.
Disabling the Datadog agent at the ingestion level is likely to help you save a substantial amount on your overall costs.
3. Disable log management
Sometimes, software developers turn on logging on an app or service and forget about it. Datadog charges $0.10 per ingested or scanned GBs per month and $1.27 per one million log events per month.
Log management is disabled by default but it's worth checking if somebody has enabled it, either by accident or on purpose.
4. Enable spike alerts
It's easy for Datadog costs to creep up on you when you least expect it. For example, an instance may shut down for whatever reason, causing your other instances to throw error logs notifying you of this. Before you know it, your logging costs are out of control and it shows on your monthly bill.
Setting up alerts to notify you whenever a service exceeds a set threshold can be a solid way of preventing a problem before it gets out of hand. Finout's CostGuard feature does exactly that and is already saving customers thousands of dollars in unplanned cost savings.
5. Work with your sales rep on reducing costs
If you've been assigned a sales representative by Datadog, it might be worth pursuing some cost management strategies with them to reduce your monthly spending.
They'll often oblige, knowing there are competitive solutions out there and they'd much rather have you pay less than lose you as a customer. Reducing cloud spending is very much dependent on your use case and your sales rep can take a look at your account to spot any anomalies and suggest configuration changes.
6. Use a cloud cost management tool
You can't start cutting costs until you get a complete understanding of what's driving them. A tool like Finout will give you a detailed view of your Datadog costs by APM, infrastructure, logs, and more, so you can find out exactly how much you're spending and why.
Figure-2: Using filters to analyze Datadog spending
Finout also integrates with Datadog to show you a breakdown of your cloud costs directly within Datadog. It also comes with some unique features such as cost per customer that tells you how much it costs to support a particular use case. These insights can be invaluable whenever you're negotiating deal size, prioritizing features, etc.
Datadog is a best-of-class application monitoring tool but it's one of those services that makes it really difficult to understand the costs associated with it. We recommend you try out the above practices and see whether they help you reduce your spending.