Synthetic Monitoring With RapDev’s Email Performance Datadog Integration

May 26, 2021
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3
min read

Email has been a critical form of business communication for decades, but the global pandemic has accelerated its use even further with entire workforces shifting to remote work. In fact, 93% of respondents in a recent study ranked email as the most preferred channel for reaching employees and half of the respondents said they’re using email more than they did before COVID-19.

High-performance email is also crucial for remaining competitive in today’s digital-first business environment. That’s because email is the preferred method of commercial communication by 74% of all online adults, meaning most enterprises rely on email for customer and client interactions as well. For enterprises to ensure efficient communications, however, they’ll need end-to-end visibility into their email infrastructure.

In this post, we’ll discuss why enterprises should be monitoring their email performance and how RapDev’s Email Performance Monitoring Datadog Integration makes it easy to get started.

Why You Need Email Performance Monitoring

Your employees and customers likely use and depend on your email infrastructure every day. Any delay in emails could slow business operations or even harm your brand reputation, leading to a potential loss of revenue. Proactively monitoring email infrastructure performance, therefore, is critical for ensuring a positive customer experience and business productivity.

The reality is that poor email performance can even impact customers without you even realizing it. For example, your outgoing emails could suddenly get blocked by your customer’s internal spam and security filters, or incoming messages could bounce because one of your mail servers went down unexpectedly. That’s why it’s crucial that enterprises ensure zero interruptions to their email infrastructure and maximize responsiveness using synthetic performance monitoring.

Synthetic testing is a proactive monitoring approach that simulates user actions to detect issues before users experience them, whether it’s employees, customers, or any other stakeholders. In the case of emails, synthetic monitoring should include synthetic transactions for testing incoming and outgoing emails from each of your mail servers to multiple cloud locations. 

The problem is that measuring email infrastructure performance is difficult when synthetic transactions originate from mail servers outside your environment. That’s why RapDev developed a simple email performance monitoring integration for Datadog to make synthetic testing easier to set up.

RapDev’s Email Performance Datadog Integration

We built our email performance solution so you can proactively monitor several key metrics across any email platform in real-time directly from your existing Datadog implementation. That means you can get in-depth visibility into your email infrastructure alongside your overall application performance and IT infrastructure metrics.

All you need to do to get started is to provide your Datadog agent with an email address and set up a rule to automatically respond back to the provided RapDev.io address. We recommend setting up separate synthetic tests for each of your mailbox servers to get a holistic understanding of your email infrastructure performance. 

Note: Synthetic email monitoring is also included as part of our Office365 integration, which features application performance KPIs, synthetic application monitoring, and license usage metrics as well.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how our email performance tool works.

We’ll send synthetic email probes from six different locations around the world to the email addresses you provide in your conf.yaml file and wait for responses back. During these synthetic transactions, we’ll track the average round trip time (RTT) from sent to received for each email, how many SMTP relay hops the emails take, and any unexpected deviations for every region. We’ll also alert you if any email probes fail to reach their destination.


All of the data we collect will appear in your Datadog dashboard, and you’ll receive alerts if any service anomalies are detected. You can use this information to ensure you are sending and receiving emails without any outages, and quickly discover any mail issues your customers may be facing that you’re not aware of internally. That way, you can quickly troubleshoot email issues to minimize, or even eliminate, any potential business impact.

Efficient email communication is a necessity in today’s digital workplace. If you learn about email issues from an employee or customer, it’s already too late. With our solution, you can proactively discover issues before they reach end-users and have peace of mind that your end-to-end email communications are running smoothly. 

Want to try our Datadog Email Performance integration? You can get it through the Datadog marketplace here. You can also find out more about our other Datadog integrations here.




written by
Team RapDev
We're engineers by profession and open source learners/contributors at heart. Here to give you the full rundown on DevOps - What we've learnt, what we're experts at, what we're exploring.