Is vMan the vSphere Super Hero Your Single Point of Failure?

single point of failureIs too much of your vSphere Cloud success riding on the shoulders of one person?

We all love a good movie about the hero who rides into gunfire to save the day…

… but when it comes to managing infrastructure, Heroes are at the core of a companies IT department’s biggest risk.

Mitigating the Risk of a Single Point of Failure “Person”

Let’s get straight to the point on this vSphere DR Strategy topic – allowing a single person (vMan) to become irreplaceable puts the entire virtualization team and vSphere at risk of failure if the hero ever decides to move on (quit and take another job).

Mitigating Risk

Reducing risk is not just about getting rid of old legacy apps and hardware, it’s also about people risk, too.

This is why cross training and team collaboration are critical to a healthy vSphere cloud for long term success.

Its basic infrastructure management 101 to always have more than one person involved in architecture, design, and building of infrastructure to spreads the responsibly and ownership.

Mastermind for Better Solutions

This also cultivates a mastermind group for ideals to solve problems…

… And it keeps heroes from taking over.

Any team or manager that solely relies on a single person will risk failure, even though their environment may be flourishing without any flaws.

I’ve seen this over and over in my management career where only one person is called when there are problems because nobody else understands how the environment was configured…

… or the hero thinks he/she owns everything and nobody is ALLOWED to touch!

It’s the Manager’s Fault

Managers allowing this type of behavior will soon pay the price when turnover brings focus on the team’s frustration due to people leaving…

… or the hero himself starts threatening to leave unless their conditions are met for position or salary.

Intimidation

Another thing which is hard to do is to reign in a hero once they have forced their will into the team’s dynamics.

I’ve seen managers, team leads, and other IT staff members be intimidated by a hero without even a comment…

…even though they may have a better solution.

For the Record…

Heroes are not bad people and most have just become the go-to person by chance or a lack of good management to split the load.

Conclusion:

Good luck if you are the person back-filling a manager who has allowed a hero to flourish as a single point of failure and run the show.

In the end, it will be the Hero’s WILL and influence against yours…

… and if they leave you could be blamed for the loss of the go-to person unless it’s already been established that the change needed is to reign in vMan in order to regain the team’s morale and loyalty.

Shining the light on this problem is easy…

… solving it will take careful planning and buy-in from stakeholders who are comfortable always going to one person for answers.

The bottom line!

Don’t let a Hero become your single point of failure for your vSphere or team.

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