Thanks for the message,
What are the disadvantages of partitioning? does it need manual management?
Can we fix those issues which partitioning addresses using other solutions?
I've personally found that partitioned tables are slower than the monolithic tables tables even when both have nearly identical indexes even in the face of supposed "partition elimination".
They also claim in the first bullet point of the following that OLTP loads can be a whole lot faster. What they not telling you is that's done by SWITCH IN from an existing table, which you had to build by inserting data into an external table that, except for partitioning, is identical to the partitioned table. Further, it will occupy an entire partition. If you're doing daily loads on a monthly partitioned table, this will be no help at all.
There are a ton of caveats to using partitioned tables. Done correctly, you can restore a single partition of a table. You can also restore a few partitions to bring a database back online but you can't do any backups while you have partitions that haven't been loaded yet.
Like I said, there are a ton of caveats and they're spread all over hell's little half acre in the MS documentation. You're going to have to look for them all.
For me, the only reason why I made the mistake of using a partitioned table was to take advantage of having read-only file groups so that I wouldn't have to backup nearly a TB every night and only needed to backup the latest partition. Partitioned Views will also do the same thing without so many headaches and, with the advent of SEQUENCEs in (IIRC) 2008, you don't suffer from having to juggle IDENTITY columns.
Both partitioned Tables and Partitioned views have the advantage of not having to do any form of index maintenance on the read-ony file groups.
And, like I said, query performance is NOT a reason to partition even with supposed "partition elimination" because the performance will actually be a bit worse than on a properly indexed monolithic table.
I strongly recommend that you read the dozen or so closely related/linked articles about partitioning and keep asking yourself what the disadvantages and difficulties will be and then, if you still want to partition, do so with open eyes, especially anywhere that the documentation says CAN instead of WILL.
In other words, don't drink proverbial "Purple Powered Drink" sitting on the table until you're sure it's not going to kill you down the road.
Now, it's not all negative. A lot of people have had very successful results for what they wanted to accomplish (which isn't usually some form of query performance). Just be aware that there's a cost to every feature.