Datadog is a monitoring and analytics tool designed for server management. Can it be used for managing IoT devices too?
Managing IoT device estates is significantly harder than managing many of the technical things we've deployed in the past (such as servers, apps, telco infrastructure). DataDog requires an agent to be deployed on each server, and “pings” that agent regularly to collect statistics. This in turn assumes that something like the following hold true about the devices under management:
- an homogenous estate
- of mains-powered devices
- sitting on a high-bandwidth network
- inside a corporate intranet
For the vast majority of IoT applications, none of these is true. Devices are usually not Linux-class devices, so even creating a generic agent is very much more challenging. Bandwidth maybe extremely limited (e.g. bytes-per-day on some low power network), and/or expensive (cellular), and/or very unreliable. And battery-power places severe constraints on adding any extra load on devices just to manage them.
Even if the device to be managed is a mains-powered, Linux-class device (for example a Smart Home gateway), because it is sitting out in the real world, on the edges of the Internet, it is not possible to spontaneously communicate with it from outside. You can't just ping something inside a home, because external network traffic is blocked by the stateful firewall inside a home router.
Datadog is a great solution for server monitoring, but it's just not designed for visualising and managing IoT.