What Does the Phrase “Migrations Are Not in a Silo” Mean?

Imagine this…

You have joined a team that will migrate an entire (one) VMware vSphere instance to Azure with the Azure VMware Solution. It has been six months, but a lot of progress has been made with the team (including you, of course).

You have:

  1. Created a scope of all servers included and cross-referenced those servers to applications each supports
  2. Designated Azure Infrastructure tenet admins and created co-contributor access accounts in Azure AD to support this project
  3. Created a special owner group in Azure AD called “Security Oversight Azure” and included everyone who is a current member of the “SECOps Private Share 1” group
  4. Created a Windows 10 VM ‘jump box’ and ensured all team members could access it
  5. Worked with the IT Network Engineering Team to construct a valid design for access to the new private cloud for the AVS (Azure VMware Solution) vSphere instance
  6. Had Microsoft start a new AVS Private Cloud instance in the company production Azure tenet
  7. Coordinated with the Network Engineering Team to have Express Route devices and configurations set up from the physical datacenter where the hosts are located (in this instance, let’s say the datacenter is located in Ohio, United States) to the Azure datacenter where you are going to have AVS ‘stood up’ in (in this instance, let’s say the target AVS’s primary location is Virginia, United States)
  8. Used the information provided by the Network Engineering Team to configure the AVS instance in Microsoft Azure
  9. Downloaded and installed the HCX appliance in your local vSphere instance with the proper configurations
  10. Performed a test migration using HCX on some legacy “not in use/scheduled to be decommissioned” virtual machine guests in the vSphere at the Ohio datacenter. The guests contained a mixture of operating systems — including Microsoft Windows 2019 DataCenter and Oracle Linux 8.x.


Now, you are tasked with assisting the team in moving more servers. In compliance with the schedules of the application portfolio sub-team, you are going to migrate five more servers next weekend. In this instance, these servers (guests) are:

1. OHDCFileServGP1 File Server in Ohio Datacenter for non-executives 1

2. OHDCFileServGP2 File Server in Ohio Datacenter for non-executives 2

3. OHDCFileServGP3 File Server in Ohio Datacenter for non-executives 3

4. OHDCFileServGP4 File Server in Ohio Datacenter for non-executives 4

5. OHDCFileServEX1 File Server in Ohio Datacenter for C-Suite executives 1

As a proactive migration professional, you make sure all the servers above are currently listed in vSphere as running, and you can currently log into them.



Well, you start asking your team members about this via group chat in Microsoft Teams. Furthermore, you provide pictures of what you see (THANK YOU, SNIPPING TOOL). The team was not aware of this, so they use the team liaison to reach out to the onsite System Engineering team.

Change Management Record CR010272008 was completed 33 days ago. The fileserver was moved to Azure Storage and placed in a blob storage container with multi-factor authentication. Apparently, an executive’s account was compromised, and swift and decisive action was taken to assure the future security of all executive data.

Why was the team not aware of this emergency change, and WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR UPDATING THE TEAM ON SUCH WORK?!

Questions are asked, and in the future, team members are designated to join the Change Management weekly approval call to keep aware of the changes coming for anything that might impact the project plan.

Now — Here’s how that whole story fits into the question:

What does the phrase “migrations are not in a silo” mean?

In the illustration above (as with many special projects in general), the team was focused on the objective at hand — migration to Azure VMware Solution. They spent time and resources to make sure they were continually moving towards that goal. In this respect, the team was doing what they should have done.

However, Information Technology is a continually changing entity in corporations.

While the team is working hard to accomplish the goal(s) at hand, other information technology projects and initiatives are being accomplished in real-time. Any IT project team needs to keep an eye on other projects that can potentially impact the project at hand. Failure to do so can potentially bring CATASTROPHIC results to the project, for instance:

  1. Task accomplishment delays
  2. Significant increase in cost waste for the project
  3. Required redesign of the project plan
  4. COMPLETE INVALIDATION OF THE PROJECT — Basically, making the project irrelevant

Essentially, you have to keep an eye on other projects that are going on while you work on your own project(s). MIGRATIONS ARE NOT IN A SILO — other projects and changes can affect the migration in multiple ways.

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