bbsguru asks: "Our Government agency has around 100 independent divisions that share a dozen national applications and a private WAN. We are working to consolidate some of these applications (e-mail, SQL databases, specialized web services), and are facing a familiar choice. One option is to contract out data hosting, e-mail server hosting, and so forth to various vendors (with negotiated SLA's and all the best guarantees, of course). We have already started doing this for our private WAN-to-World gateways, VPN management, and one major SQL application, each with a different vendor, so far. Others are advocating the creation of a national agency-owned facility, where employees would perform these functions instead of contractors. Network management, IDS, data replication and so forth, for all the consolidated applications under one umbrella. Is a series of contractors really the way to go, or are there real benefits to keeping it in house?"