datadog vs splunk
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When it comes to logging, monitoring and analytics, Datadog and Splunk are two of the most popular DevOps tools, but which one is the right fit for your organization? We’ll compare the features of Datadog and Splunk side-by-side to help you decide.

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What is Datadog?

Datadog is a monitoring service that tracks performance and health data for your applications, tools and infrastructure. It is used by developers and operations teams to troubleshoot issues, identify trends and monitor their systems in real-time. Datadog also provides an end-to-end view of your entire stack, from the application to the database, to help you optimize performance and reduce downtime.

What is Splunk?

Splunk is a software platform that enables you to collect, index and search data from any source in any format. It is used by developers and operations teams to troubleshoot issues, identify trends and monitor their systems. Splunk also provides an end-to-end view of your entire stack, from the application to the database. However, it’s tailored more toward historical data than real-time data.

Datadog vs. Splunk: Feature comparison

FocusReal-time dataHistorical log management
InstallationCloudCloud, self-hosted
AlertsNative, configurableNon-native
Open sourceNoNo

Head-to-head comparison: Datadog vs. Splunk


Datadog is a cloud-based monitoring tool, so installing any software onto your organization’s servers is unnecessary. Just sign up for an account and add your applications and infrastructure. You don’t need to worry about downtime, performance or server maintenance.

Splunk now provides cloud-based services, too. But if you choose the self-hosted version, you need to install Splunk software. Once the software installs, you can add your applications and infrastructure. Self-hosted platforms give you granular control over the system, but you also have to manage it yourself.

Data collection

Datadog uses agents to collect data from your servers, applications and tools. The agents are lightweight programs that run in the background and report data to the Datadog platform.

Splunk uses a Universal Forwarder to collect data from your servers, applications and tools. The Universal Forwarder is a lightweight program that runs in the background and sends data to the Splunk platform.

Datadog emphasizes real-time data, whereas Splunk emphasizes historical data.

Data analysis

Both Datadog and Splunk provide clean, attractive interfaces through which your organization can analyze data. These interfaces provide access to dashboards, alerts and reporting. Of these DevOps tools, Splunk has the simplest, easiest-to-read interface, but Datadog provides more customization options.


Datadog is better suited for small- to medium-sized businesses, while Splunk is better suited for large enterprises. This is because Datadog charges based on the number of hosts, while Splunk charges based on the amount of data managed.

Though Datadog has better visualizations and superior customization methods, Splunk provides the deeper analysis that larger enterprises frequently need. Conversely, Splunk may be too big to consider for an SMB tech department.


When on the cloud, both Datadog and Splunk will perform similarly in raw speed. Datadog and Splunk are both high-performance and fast on their own, but because they are cloud SaaS solutions, their actual speed will depend on the organization’s internet speed. Low speeds or high latency may delay reporting.

Dashboards, alerts and reporting

Both Datadog and Splunk use a web-based interface to analyze data. The interface is easy to use and provides various features, such as dashboards, alerts and reporting. Datadog’s dashboards are generally more customizable than Splunk’s dashboards.

Uptime and performance monitoring

Datadog and Splunk offer uptime and performance monitoring, though Datadog’s uptime and performance monitoring are more comprehensive than Splunk’s. Datadog monitors your entire stack, from the application to the database, while Splunk only monitors your servers.

General integration

Datadog integrates with more than 500 technologies, while Splunk integrates with fewer than 100 technologies. This alone makes Datadog more versatile than Splunk, although ultimately, it doesn’t matter as long as Splunk provides the integration that you need.

Log management

Splunk is a leading, enterprise-grade log analysis solution. Datadog is designed more for real-time insights into actionable data.

Choosing between Datadog and Splunk

Datadog and Splunk are great monitoring tools that provide visibility into your system’s performance and health.

Choose Datadog if:

  • You work at an SMB.
  • You need to integrate with one of Datadog’s technology integrations.
  • You want to reduce your charges based on the number of hosts.

Choose Splunk if:

  • You work at a large or enterprise business.
  • You don’t need more integrations than the 100 offered.
  • You would rather be charged based on the data managed.