With every new release of SQL Server, partitioning has reached new heights of improvement. For example, though we could create partitioned views for better manageability and scalability since SQL Server 7.0, SQL Server 2005 started with native support for Table Partitioning. SQL Server 2008 introduced partition table parallelism for better performance and for better resource utilization (of modern multi-processors hardware). With SQL Server 2012, we are now allowed to even create up to a 15K partition on a single table.
To learn more about Why, What, When and How of Partitioning in SQL Server click here.