OpBot – Slack Chat With Your vCenter

OpBot is the Slack-based VMware Chat Bot you never knew you were missing!


I am always looking for quirky, interesting, or simply odd things to mess around with in VMware. While browsing the other day I came across an interesting post by Opvizor about a new software integration they released. They call it OpBot and it seems to have a specific purpose, to allow you a swift communication channel directly to your vCenter server from anywhere you have an internet connection. All you need is a Slack client! For those unfamiliar, Slack is a chat and collaboration tool used both in and outside of the enterprise.

Installing OpBot is simple. Head over to their site http://try.opvizor.com/opbot/ and put in a valid email address to get the download for the OVA and shortly an email will follow with a 1 month trial key. The OVA is fairly small when deployed as a VM, 1 vCPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB max disk space, seems to run Ubuntu under the covers.

Opvizor provides a great Quick Start guide to get you up and running in minutes.  You will need a Slack channel setup to communicate to the bot on. If you haven’t set one up it is as simple as heading over to Slack’s website and creating your own subdomain. Once you have a subdomain in place you can use the link in the Quick Start guide to generate an API key tied to your channel. Keep that key as you need it during the deployment process of the OVA! The user connecting OpBot to your vCenter needs only Read Only access and for security reasons I highly suggest creating a specific user for this purpose.

Once you have it deployed chatting with the bot is easy, using the Slack web client, desktop client, or mobile client connected to your channel you can start sending commands to OpBot. Currently it runs on a whitelist of commands. If you want to know what they are at any time you can simply chat to OpBot the word ‘help’ and it will give you the entire list of commands available on the current build. Opvizor also provides a list in their KB. OpBot even knows some PowerCLI!!

While I don’t see this replacing most of your vCenter administration needs I have been able to pull some basic data through it. A list of all VMs which have snapshots, datastores and their capacity/free space, and host resource consumption. I can certainly see a use for this in a pinch, especially if you were stuck somewhere without great service.

If you are interested in giving it a shot Opvizor is giving out 1 month trials. It does scratch that curiosity itch and provides an opportunity to mess with a neat new toy within vSphere.