Datadog allegedly asked developer to kill open source data export tool

Trending 7 months ago

Updated After a hold of complete a year, an unfastened root codification publication to alteration nan export of information from Datadog's Application Performance Monitoring (APM) level yet sewage merged connected Tuesday into a postulation of OpenTelemetry components.

The logic for nan delay, according to John Dorman, nan package developer who wrote nan Datadog APM Receiver code, is that, astir a twelvemonth ago, Datadog asked him not to taxable nan software.

On February 8 past twelvemonth Dorman, who goes by nan sanction "boostchicken" connected GitHub, announced that he was closing his propulsion petition – nan git word for programming codification contributed to a project.

"After immoderate information I've decided to adjacent this PR [pull request]," he wrote. "[T]here are amended ways to OTEL [OpenTelemetry] support w/ Datadog."

Members of nan unfastened root organization who are focused connected exertion monitoring – collecting and analyzing logs, traces of app activity, and different metrics that tin beryllium useful to support applications moving – had questions, claiming that DataDog prefers to fastener customers into their product.

Shortly aft nan post, Charity Majors, CEO of, a rival exertion monitoring firm, wrote a Twitter thread elaborating connected nan benefits of OpenTelemetry and calling retired Datadog for only supporting OTEL arsenic a one-way street.

"Datadog has been telling users they tin usage OTEL to get information in, but not get information out," Majors wrote. "The Datadog OTEL collector PR was silently killed. The personification who wrote it appears to person been pressured into closing it, and thing has been projected to switch it."

Behavior of this benignant would beryllium inconsistent pinch nan goals of nan Cloud Native Computing Foundation's (CNCF) OpenTelemetry project, which seeks "to supply a group of standardized vendor-agnostic SDKs, APIs, and devices for ingesting, transforming, and sending information to an Observability back-end (i.e. unfastened root aliases commercialized vendor)."

That is to say, nan OpenTelemetry task intends to beforehand information portability, alternatively of hindering it, arsenic is communal among proprietary package vendors.

The smoking hound

On January 26 Dorman confirmed suspicions that he had been approached by Datadog and asked not to proceed pinch his efforts.

"I beryllium nan organization an apology connected this one," Dorman wrote successful his propulsion petition thread. "I lacked nan courageousness of my convictions and erstwhile push came to shove and I had to make nan difficult choice, I took nan easy measurement out."

"Datadog 'asked' maine to termination this propulsion request. There were different members from my statement coming that fto maine cognize this reply will beryllium a 'ok'. I americium judge I could person said no, astatine nan infinitesimal I conscionable couldn't fathom opening Pandora's Box. There you person it, nary NDA, nary stack of cash. I near nan codification hoping personification could transportation on. I was consenting to springiness [Datadog] this code, nary strings attached arsenic agelong arsenic it moved OTel forward. They declined."

He added, "However, I told them if you don't support OpenTelemetry successful a meaningful way, I will commencement sending propulsion requests again. So present we are. I consciousness I person fixed them capable clip to do nan correct thing."

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Indeed, Dorman subsequently re-opened his propulsion request, which connected Tuesday was merged into nan repository for Open Telemetry Collector components. His Datadog ARM Receiver tin ingest traces successful nan Datadog Trace Agent Format.

Coincidentally, Datadog connected Tuesday published a blog post titled, "Datadog's committedness to OpenTelemetry and nan unfastened root community." It makes nary mention of nan alleged petition to "kill [the] propulsion request." Instead, it enumerates various ways successful which nan institution has supported OpenTelemetry recently.

The Register asked Datadog for comment. We've not heard back.

Dorman, who presently useful for Meta, did not respond to a petition for comment. However, past week, via Twitter, he credited Grafana, an unfastened root Datadog competitor, for having "formally sponsored" nan activity and for pointing retired that Datadog "refuses to support OTEL successful meaningful ways."

The OpenTelemetry Governance Committee for nan CNCF provided The Register pinch nan pursuing statement:

"We're still trying to make consciousness of what happened here; we'll remark connected it erstwhile we person a afloat understanding. Regardless, we are happy to reappraisal and judge immoderate contributions which push nan task forward, and this [pull request] was merged yesterday," it said. ®

Updated to add

The Register asked Dorman whether nan business has been resolved to his satisfaction. In an email consequence received aft this communicative was filed, Dorman said, "There was thing to beryllium 'resolved,' erstwhile Grafana decided to sponsor nan activity I opened nan PR again."

"I guidelines by what's successful nan Pull Request, which is that I closed it, nary guns to my head, retired of master courtesy," he explained. "I besides re-opened it, nary guns to my head, for nan reasons Grafana mentioned. I americium happy it is merged and americium happy to beryllium moving connected to different things."