Comparing Server Density vs Datadog

By David Mytton,
CEO & Founder of Server Density.

Published on the 12th March, 2017.

In 2009 I wrote the original version of the Server Density monitoring agent – sd-agent – designed to be lightweight and quick and easy to deploy. It was released under the FreeBSD open source license because I thought that if I was installing software onto my systems, I would at least want to have the ability to examine the source code! There weren’t any good SaaS server monitoring products, so I decided to build one.

In 2010, Datadog forked sd-agent into dd-agent and started building their company around the agent. Since then, they have grown very quickly, raised a huge amount of investment and added a lot of functionality to their product.

At the end of 2015 we released sd-agent v2, which was a merged version of dd-agent. We brought many of the improvements from the Datadog fork into the Server Density agent (although we decided to package plugins independently, rather than bundled into one distribution so you can maintain a lightweight installation and update components separately).

We think Server Density is a great alternative to Datadog, and there are a few features in particular which make Server Density vs Datadog an interesting comparison.

Mobile apps for iOS and Android

Server Density has native server monitoring apps available for iPhone on the Apple App Store and for Android on the Google Play Store. These allow you to receive push notifications directly to your device so you can stay up to date on the move. One of our customers, SugarCube, even use this as a selling point to show their customers they’re monitoring things all the time!

Server Density vs Datadog: iPhone server monitoring

We also have a free app for iOS called Cloud Status App which allows you to monitor the status of all the major cloud providers, and get push notifications if they post any status updates.

Tag based user permissions

Server Density uses tags to allow you to choose which users can have access to specific resources. You can add as many users as you wish and by using tags, you can control whether they can see particular servers and availability monitors. Uses for this range from reselling monitoring to your customers through to giving particular access to development teams whilst the operations team maintain a complete overview.

Server Density vs Datadog: Tag based user permissions

TV NOC dashboards with Apple TV

Displaying dashboards on a TV in your office or in a NOC is a common use case we see from customers like Tooplay. However, it is a pain having to set up a TV with a standalone computer and attempting to use browsers built into the TV is never good. Using an Apple TV is a quick, easy and relatively cheap way to get your dashboards displayed on a TV, made possible by our native Apple TV app.

Server Density vs Datadog: Apple TV server monitoring

Slackbot for chatops

Our Slackbot allows you to ask questions about the state of your systems. Request graphs and check alerts from within Slack.

Server Density vs Datadog: Server monitoring Slackbot

Website and API availability monitoring

By running monitoring nodes in locations all over the world, you can use Server Density to quickly configure HTTP and TCP availability checks to monitor website, application and API response time and uptime. We run the monitoring locations for you, so you can get an external perspective of your customer experience.

We have monitoring locations in: Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA.


We started the HumanOps community in 2016 to encourage the operations community to discuss the human aspects of running infrastructure. This has resulted in events around the world, including the UK, US, France, Germany, Poland and more. Companies such as Spotify, PagerDuty, Yelp and Facebook have contributed to sharing ideas and best practices for life on call, dealing with technical debt, fatigue and stress.

Not only that, but we’re building features inspired by HumanOps, such as our Alert Costs functionality that reports on how much time alerts are wasting for your team.

We’re building more functionality to help teams implement HumanOps principles in their own company – a journey unique to Server Density.

Try Server Density

These are the key features we think makes us stand out when comparing Server Density vs Datadog but the best way is to try the product yourself!

Whether you’re after a less complex alternative like Firebox were, or whether you don’t want to have to deal with managing your own open source monitoring like furryLogic, Server Density is a great choice.

Sign up for a free trial.

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