I was bouncing around looking at some list server posts and today I say on that when summarized asked:
I am being asked to justify upgrading to SQL Server 2008 over SQL Server 2005. I have a list of the many features that the new version has but I don’t have any benchmarks that describe in detail the benefits of upgrading to SQL Server 2008. The other requirement is that this needs to be done with the database existing as it is now with no changes to the code.
One person had mentioned that Backup compression that comes with Enterprise edition could be a good point to consider. Not too long after a reply came that mentioned the price difference between enterprise edition and many of the backup software packages. A bigger gap is created when you compare the type of licenses such as per processor (SQL Server Licenses) to per instance or per server licenses that many of the software packages are sold as.
A Quick note about SQL Server 2008 R2, It will have the standard edition with the backup compression feature enabled.
But more to the point, If you are looking to justify upgrading to Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2008 for a single feature you may be missing out on many of the other tools in there that assist in managing a production environment. A great example is looking at the Policy based Management to ensure that you SQL Servers are not in violation of any of the companies policies or just best practices. But I believe my favorite feature is the Data Collector, but again if that is the only feature you plan on using you may want to consider the cost implications.
You may not utilize all the feature sets right out of the gate when you upgrade to SQL Server 2008 however you can’t put a price on making sure all your servers are following the policies that you have set forth.