Skip to main content Skip to search
Danielle Russell
Posted by
Danielle Russell on
August 31, 2021

Unlock DNS Observability With Our New Datadog Integration

Our newest integration with Datadog gives customers a single source of truth for observability across the modern tech stack, bolstering visibility at the distributed edge.

“It’s always DNS.”

The adage is so common that we even put it on an NS1 coffee mug.

There’s some wisdom behind this statement. Whenever an application experiences performance degradation or fails altogether, operations teams (should) check that DNS-related services are operating as expected as a first step in troubleshooting. Given that application downtime increasingly impacts business operations and revenue, operations teams must have DNS monitoring data at their fingertips in order to troubleshoot quickly and effectively.

This is why we are so excited to announce today our newest integration with Datadog, a leading SaaS monitoring and security platform for cloud applications. Organizations of all sizes and industries use Datadog as a single source of truth to help accelerate application delivery, reduce time to problem resolution, track key business metrics, and more. With our integration, we’re making it easier than ever to include NS1 performance and usage metrics as part of a Datadog monitoring environment. In doing so, our customers can create a single source of truth for observability across the modern application delivery tech stack.

The integration uses the Datadog agent to collect and display NS1 data in Datadog in near real time. Available data includes query use over time, top zones by query volume, DHCP leases, and monthly account usage metrics. You can also view Pulsar real user monitoring (RUM) performance data and resource availability data for fine-grained insights into your global application delivery performance. And, our pre-built dashboard makes it fast and simple to get started visualizing the data.

We built this integration largely in response to the demand from NS1 customers who rely on Datadog for monitoring and observability of their business-critical applications. Our early access customers told us a few ways in which they are using the integration, which include:

Making DNS visibility available to all users

Today, organizations commonly have multiple teams and users who need visibility and observability of the DNS infrastructure, spanning DevOps, NetOps, SecOps, and other ITOps functions. DNS administrators may not want to provision access directly to NS1 (despite the platform’s granular role-based access controls and audit logging). With our integration, administrators can easily provide all users the DNS monitoring data they need while also adhering to their least-privileged access policies.

Troubleshooting application delivery issues

DNS is critical infrastructure, and if it fails or performs otherwise than expected, it can directly impact the application availability or performance, and, as a result, business productivity, revenue, and customer satisfaction. Organizations that monitor application health and performance in Datadog benefit from having NS1 DNS-related data side-by-side with other critical application performance metrics. With this data, organizations can further streamline their policies to alert incident responders and trigger actions upon service issues and failures.

Understanding performance trends

Our customers run some of the world’s most popular and valuable websites and applications on the internet. With NS1 performance metrics in Datadog, our customers can more easily analyze query volume trends over time to better predict and plan for infrastructure capacity needs to support their growing businesses.

Monitoring NS1 usage

NS1 customers can monitor their monthly NS1 account usage metrics in Datadog to get the most out of their NS1 subscription while avoiding overages.

One of our first customers to try out our new integration was Scott Young, Sr. Site Reliability Engineer at Sovrn, an online advertising technology company. Scott told us that Sovrn relies heavily on DNS to get bid traffic into the best data center possible, but that hosted DNS solutions have always been difficult to monitor with precision. Together, NS1 and Datadog made it easy for Scott and his team to get meaningful and detailed DNS statistics that they can act on. This gives Scott and his team confidence to try new traffic management configurations while carefully monitoring NS1 usage to avoid an overage.

“With the NS1 usage and QPS metrics in Datadog for long-term collection, we can now see trends and make week-over-week and month-over-month comparisons that combine with other data to confirm platform health and provide inputs to capacity planning,” Scott told us. He added that the best part is that the NS1 and Datadog integration made it very easy to implement; any Datadog agent can be configured to gather NS1 statistics in minutes.

As with all of our integrations, our integration with Datadog is delivered as part of our unified cloud-based delivery platform, NS1 Connect. This means that NS1 customers can configure the integration once to enable it across all NS1 technologies - NS1 Managed DNS, Pulsar Active Traffic Steering, and Enterprise DDI. This also means that our customers get unified DNS visibility across internal enterprise applications as well as internet-facing websites and applications within a single pane of glass in the Datadog platform. Learn more about NS1 Connect.

This is the second integration we built for Datadog. Since 2016, we have supported an integration that uses Datadog alerts as a data source in our NS1 Filter Chain™ to make real-time policy decisions for automatic failover and other advanced application traffic steering use cases. You can read more about that integration in the NS1 Help Center.

Now, with bi-directional support for Datadog, NS1 customers can leverage both technologies’ automation and intelligence together to close the loop between observability and action for improved application performance, reliability, and cost efficiency.

All of our integrations are included in every NS1 deployment. To get started, find the NS1 integration in the Datadog marketplace. Also, refer to our quick start guides in the NS1 Help Center for step-by-step guidance:

Not yet an NS1 customer? Let’s fix that. Contact us to learn more about our solutions and pricing or sign up for a free developer account.

Further Reading