Slack Hacks: Two Super Useful Time-Savers for SysAdmins

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Get Shift Done: Tips and Tricks

My network management and testing team has been using Slack recently for all the reasons so many other people have turned to the more grown up Slack messaging client. Among Slack’s attractive features is its ability to incorporate add-ins, and I’ve spent some time searching for bots that can help us manage the virtual machines for which we’re responsible.

Earlier, I focused on a bot called OpBot, which helps our team manage our NOC vSphere infrastructure directly from a Slack channel. It’s been quite handy. However, it’s far from the only Slack add-in that’s helped me be more productive with Slack.

In particular, there are two apps — not bots — that I’m falling in love with.

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VMWare Slack Hack: Using OpBot to Monitor Virtual Machines

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Get Shift Done: Tips and Tricks

Geek alert! (But Very Cool)

Our system ops team has been using Slack basically to communicate via chat, with several channels to track various projects, into which we upload commonly-called-upon files. However, many apps can be integrated with Slack to do useful (or in some cases not-particularly-useful) things.

I’m always looking for ways to automate sysadmin chores. That led me to explore ways to extend Slack to help us monitor virtual machines in our company’s operations center. This one works for anyone using Slack who also administrates or monitors a VMware vSphere environment — and it works in a VMware data center or in VMware cloud settings.

There are hundreds upon hundreds of apps and bots listed on Slack’s website. After wading through the cruft (unfortunately, there’s quite a lot of junk), I found some that would help us in day to day operations. The first bot worth considering was OpBot.

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