Partitioning for Manageability

Partitioning enables you to partition tables and indexes into smaller, more manageable units, providing database administrators with the ability to pursue a divide and conquer approach to data management. With partitioning, maintenance operations can be focused on particular portions of tables. For example, you could back up a single partition of a table, rather than back up the entire table. For maintenance operations across an entire database object, it is possible to perform these operations on a per-partition basis, thus dividing the maintenance process into more manageable chunks.

A typical usage of partitioning for manageability is to support a rolling window load process in a data warehouse. Suppose that you load new data into a table on a weekly basis. That table could be partitioned so that each partition contains one week of data. The load process is simply the addition of a new partition using a partition exchange load. Adding a single partition is much more efficient than modifying the entire table, because you do not need to modify any other partitions.