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SigNoz - Open-source alternative to DataDog

· 5 min read
Pranay Prateek

More and more companies are now shifting to a cloud-native & microservices-based architecture. Having an application monitoring tool is critical in this world because you can’t just log into a machine and figure out what’s going wrong.

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We have spent years learning about application monitoring & observability. What are the key features an observability tool should have to enable fast resolution of issues.

In our opinion, good observability tools should have

  • Out of the box application metrics
  • Way to go from metrics to traces to find why some issues are happening
  • Seamless flow between metrics, traces & logs — the three pillars of observability
  • Filtering of traces based on different tags and filters
  • Ability to set dynamic thresholds for alerts
  • Transparency in pricing

User experience not great in current open-source tools

We found that though there are open-source tools like Prometheus & Jaeger, they don’t provide a great user experience as SaaS products do. It takes lots of time and effort to get them working, figuring out the long-term storage, etc. And if you want metrics and traces, it’s not possible as Prometheus metrics & Jaeger traces have different formats.

SaaS tools like DataDog and NewRelic do a much better job at many of these aspects:

  • They are easy to setup & get started
  • Provide out-of-box application metrics
  • Provides correlation between metrics & traces

But it has the following issues:

  • Crazy node-based pricing, which doesn’t make sense in today’s micro-services architecture. Any node which is live for more than 8hrs in a month is charged. So, unsuitable for spiky workloads
  • Very costly. They charge custom metrics for $5/100 metrics
  • It is cloud-only, so not suitable for companies that have concerns with sending data outside their infra
  • For any small feature, you are dependent on their roadmap. We think this is an unnecessary restriction for a product which developers use. A product used by developers should be extendible

To fill this gap we built SigNoz, an open-source alternative to DataDog.

Key Features of SigNoz - a DataDog alternative

Some of our key features which makes SigNoz vastly superior to current open-source products and a great alternative to DataDog are:

  • Out of the box application metrics
  • Seamless flow between metrics & traces
  • Filtering based on tags
  • Custom aggregates on filtered traces
  • Transparent usage Data
  • Detailed Flamegraphs & Gantt charts

Out of the box application metrics

Get p90, p99 latencies, RPS, Error rates and top endpoints for a service out of the box.

SigNoz dashboard showing popular RED metrics
SigNoz UI showing application overview metrics like RPS, 50th/90th/99th Percentile latencies, and Error Rate

Seamless flow between metrics & traces

Found something suspicious in a metric, just click that point in the graph & get details of traces which may be causing the issues. Seamless, Intuitive.

Seamless flow between metrics and traces
Move from metrics to traces at any point of time which needs more analysis

Advanced filters on trace data

Under our traces tab, you can analyze the traces data using filters based on tags, status codes, service names, operation, etc.

Using tags, you can find latency experienced by customers who have customer_type set as premium.

Filters on trace data
Use advanced filters to analyze your trace data

Custom aggregates on filtered traces

Create custom metrics from filtered traces to find metrics of any type of request. Want to find p99 latency of customer_type: premium who are seeing status_code:400. Just set the filters, and you have the graph. Boom!

Custom aggregates on filtered traces
Find custom aggregates on filtered traces

Transparent usage Data

You can drill down details of how many events is each application sending or at what granularity, so that you can adjust your sampling rate as needed and not get a shock at the end of the month ( case with SaaS vendors many a times)

Transparent usage data
SigNoz provides usage explorer so that you are always informed about your usage

Detailed Flamegraphs & Gantt charts

Detailed flamegraph & Gantt charts to find the exact cause of the issue and which underlying requests are causing the problem. Is it a SQL query gone rogue or a Redis operation is causing an issue?

Detailed Flamegraphs & Gantt charts
Spans of a trace visualized with the help of flamegraphs and gantt charts in SigNoz dashboard

Getting started with SigNoz

You can get started with SigNoz using just three commands at your terminal.

git clone -b main https://github.com/SigNoz/signoz.git
cd signoz/deploy/
./install.sh

For detailed instructions, you can visit our documentation.

Deployment Docs

If you liked what you read, then check out our GitHub repo 👇

SigNoz GitHub repo

Our slack community is a great place to get your queries solved instantly and get community support for SigNoz. Link to join 👇
SigNoz slack community


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