Datadog vs. Instana Comparison

Which is the best APM and observability provider for you?

October 26, 2022

Written by
Louis-Victor Jadavji, Cofounder of Taloflow

Who should you choose and why?

âś‹ Most important consideration

  • If you want fully dynamic instrumentation where you barely have to worry much about the frameworks and other tools that developers are using (i.e., language independent), Instana has an outsized advantage.

🤔 Strongly consider Datadog over Instana if

  • DataDog is the clearcut leader in cloud infrastructure monitoring, so if it's important to have consolidated vendors for monitoring and APM, they should be a better fit.
  • If you want a cheaper solution.

🤔 Strongly consider Instana over Datadog if

  • If you want real-time metrics. Instana is the only APM vendor that offers visible metrics in the user interface in under 1 second, or practically real-time.
  • If you want better dependency mapping. Instana has a relationship engine that automatically calculates the relationships and dependencies for each unit of work.
  • If you have purely microservices-based architecture.


Datadog has been at the forefront of cloud monitoring for cloud-native companies. Its Application Performance Monitoring (APM) service is part of an extensive portfolio of complementary monitoring and observability tools. By capturing traces across various layers and services, Datadog APM provides developers with deep insights into their applications' performance, allowing for more effective troubleshooting and performance optimization.


Instana offers near-comprehensive metric instrumentation with real-time data intervals. This empowers businesses with immediate insights into their application performance, enabling rapid responses to any emerging issues. With its extensive real-time monitoring capabilities, Instana provides a dynamic observability solution that allows businesses to maintain high-performance applications and swiftly detect and address performance issues.
We put all the information below in an interactive quiz to make your APM and observability provider choice easy.
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Feature Comparison


Use Case Fit

Problem Resolution




Integration With Other Services

Not all observability providers have the integrations or compatibility with tools and languages like Rancher, AlertOps, or Rust.

Compliance Requirements

Compliance with standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO 27001, FedRAMP and more have been tracked and recorded.

About the Author

Louis-Victor Jadavji (or "LV") is a recognized leader in the cloud services industry. He's helped 50+ digital native companies like ModusBox, Later, and NS1 choose the right cloud stack for their applications. His work has been featured in Forbes (30 Under 30 All-Star), HuffPost, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and Inc. Magazine.

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