Let's say you're monitoring CPU metrics for a server and you don't want to persist every measure to the database. With StreamInsight, you could capture the CPU events as they happen, aggregate them as you like, and persist only the aggregated metrics to the database. You could also correlate the CPU metrics with other measures to glean real meaning out of them and get more significant alerts.
This is a simple example, but it should give you an idea of the types of actions that can be accomplished. Note too that StreamInsight is not an out-of-the-box feature, but must be written into .Net applications. While StreamInsight will take some spin-up for coders to get used to, they'll find that Microsoft has really smoothed the way.
Reason No. 4 to upgrade to SQL Server 2008 R2: Master Data ServicesMaster Data Services helps businesses build and maintain an authoritative source for critical data assets like products, customers, locations, accounts, employees, and so on. Master Data Services is a database, a user interface, and a set of services that enable organizations to rapidly build a model to manage the data that feeds dimensions or other systems. It may contain validation rules, notifications, and security roles. It provides versioning and enables you to reverse unwelcome changes to the data. Master Data Services may serve as a system of entry or a system of record. Using standard tools (such as SQL Server Integration Services or BizTalk), the data may be sent to or from Master Data Services as your business process requires.
What does that mean in plain English? In short, the Master Data Services scenario consists of a data model and a database. You pass your enterprise data through the master data engine, which validates the data against your rules before sending it on its way. Currently you have to build all your models manually, but that's not typically prohibitive to implementation, considering you're only likely to apply Master Data Services to a few important systems that need the extra checks. Still, it would be nice if Master Data Services would read the model and, in the process, let users concentrate on creating the rules.
Reason No. 5 to upgrade to SQL Server 2008 R2: Multiserver monitoringThe SQL Server Utility Control Point, which is the heart of R2's new multiserver management capabilities, allows you to monitor resource health across multiple SQL servers, but it currently doesn't support actions on out-of-policy items. In other words, Control Point is read-only for the measurements it shows you. Another limitation: Only 25 managed instances are supported in the Enterprise edition; you'll have to jump to the Datacenter edition to manage more. Here's another area where the Enterprise SKU is set too low; I've never been a part of an enterprise where 25 is an acceptable cutoff for monitoring multiple nodes.