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Introducing Coinbase Watchdog A new approach to UI and code-driven automation for Datadog

At Coinbase, we use Datadog to gather gadget and alertness metrics, put into effect SLIs and SLOs, create dashboards, and extra. Because the selection of dashboards and displays grew, we started to peer the want to codify them. We have been fearful that we didn’t have gear to hit upon unintentional or malicious amendment. Believe a manufacturing incident that used to be now not spotted by means of engineers on account of an by accident muted track.

Codification solves this as a result of adjustments are particular (via code) and are saved in model keep watch over (benefitting from notification and code overview techniques).

A technique of fixing this downside could be to retailer the Datadog parts (e.g. Datadog timeboards, screenboards, and displays) in a model keep watch over gadget and practice adjustments accomplished via code. The disadvantage of this manner is that managing screenboards or timeboards although the code isn’t handy or pleasant.

Differently of fixing this downside could be to make use of a Datadog UI-driven manner. This might be a lot more handy and friendlier to make use of. This will require detecting adjustments, making a request to post it again to a model keep watch over gadget and the facility to revert/rollback adjustments that weren’t licensed.

To reach the most productive of each doable answers (code and UI-driven approaches) we first began by means of reviewing current initiatives lets to find:

Every mission had their professionals and cons however this got here down to 2 problems: now not with the ability to codify dashboards along with displays (even though we forked and contributed again) or being too advanced for our shoppers.

Introducing Coinbase Watchdog

Coinbase Watchdog is a GitHub app and a Golang provider that makes use of the Datadog API to look ahead to adjustments in Datadog, reaching the most productive of each a code and UI-driven manner. When it sees a metamorphosis, it robotically creates a Pull Request (PR) with the adjustments in a devoted Datadog GitHub repository. Now we have keep watch over and consensus mechanisms (you’ll be able to learn extra about Heimdall right here) that offer us the promises enough selection of other folks have reviewed the exchange prior to it may possibly land on grasp. If a PR used to be now not licensed and closed by means of a buyer, Watchdog will name Datadog APIs to revive the parts from the grasp department in supply keep watch over.

This manner provides us a UI-driven codification bot. All adjustments made within the Datadog UI can be robotically picked up by means of the bot and corresponding Pull Requests can be created. Watchdog too can hit upon if a consumer changed the code (Datadog element JSON) and practice the exchange to Datadog.

The 2 workflows are pictured right here:

Coinbase Watchdog workflows

Configuring Watchdog

The Watchdog provider has two sorts of configuration:

  1. Device configuration: this configuration comprises all required parameters corresponding to Datadog API/APP keys, GitHub utility non-public key, GitHub mission URL, GitHub app set up ID, and many others. This configuration is handed to the provider with setting variables.
  2. Person configuration: that is utilized by shoppers. Easy YAML recordsdata with a listing of Datadog element IDs and metadata corresponding to group, mission identify, and many others. You could have many YAML recordsdata within the configuration listing and a configuration folder could have any arbitrary selection of subfolders.

That is an instance of a Person configuration YAML record:

The parts that you just see above are:

  • meta: group: An arbitrary group identify identifier.
  • meta: slack: A Slack room identify to inform of adjustments.
  • dashboards: An inventory of dashboard IDs to observe.
  • displays: An inventory of track IDs to observe.
  • screenboards: An inventory of screenboard IDs to observe.

How does Coinbase Watchdog hit upon adjustments?

The Watchdog provider is totally stateless. There are two techniques through which Watchdog detects adjustments: Complete sync and Incremental.

Complete sync

When the Watchdog provider begins for the primary time, it’s going to question all parts by means of ID and test each and every in opposition to the parts saved in GitHub. If some element recordsdata are other, new PRs can be created in line with consumer configuration record. Relying on customers’ configuration recordsdata, this step may just probably make many Datadog API calls. Then again, this may most effective occur as soon as on provider startup to ensure that the present state in Datadog is in step with the supply in GitHub.

Gazing for incremental adjustments

It is a reasonably straight-forward activity, and is composed of a number of steps:

  1. The Datadog APIs very easily reveal a box “changed” which accommodates an element amendment date. Watchdog polls the APIs,, . each N mins (in our case each 10 mins) and tests if the present time minus changed box worth is much less then 10 mins.
  2. Watchdog makes use of a git implementation written in Golang beneath the hood. If step 1 used to be a hit, Watchdog will pull the most recent adjustments from the grasp department, create a brand new native department, make an HTTP GET request to retrieve the Datadog element from the Datadog API, save the element to a record, and run the an identical of the git standing command to peer if the record within the grasp department isn’t the same as the API reaction.
  3. Watchdog will then question GitHub APIs to seek out if reproduction PRs had been opened and if that is so it’s going to forget about the present one.

An instance API reaction from the Datadog API appearing the “changed” key:


When Watchdog creates a brand new PR it is very important notify the related group in order that they are able to overview the PR. We use a GitHub’s CODEOWNERS function for that. Within the GitHub repository root we’ve a CODEOWNERS record with the next traces:

config/reliability/ @engineering/reliability

information/infra/reliability/ @engineering/reliability

If a PR impacts recordsdata in config/reliability/* or information/infra/reliability/* the Reliability Engineering group can be notified by means of electronic mail.

Moreover, a group can opt-in to Slack notifications by means of surroundings a “slack” box beneath “meta” in consumer config record with a slack channel (see above image).

Long run options

At some point, we want to upload extra options and are already operating on a solution to robotically revert adjustments in keeping with PR expiration. We’re additionally having a look ahead to peer if others who use Datadog to find this provider helpful and are in a position and keen to give a contribution.

Datadog presented new dashboard APIs which is lately now not supported by means of Watchdog. We’re making plans so as to add this option quickly and in the meantime PRs are extremely favored 😉

Should you’re considering contributing to this mission, test it out on GitHub right here!

Should you’re considering serving to us construct a contemporary, scalable platform for the way forward for crypto markets, we’re hiring in San Francisco!

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Until in a different way famous, all photographs equipped herein are by means of Coinbase.

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