Partitioning of a database to optimize performance has been around for a long time. Oracle first introduced partitioning in 1997. With Oracle Database 11g, Release 2 partitioning is even easier.
The idea behind partitioning is to separate your data and store it based on a partitioning criteria. By doing this you can separate your data on different storage devices. This can help lead to having older data in your database, on cheaper storage media, and help with archiving of data.
This white paper talks about a number of different aspects of partitioning Oracle Databases. Learn more about partition strategies and extensions provided with Oracle Database 11g release 2. Partitioning is an easy way to improve performance by spreading out your database I/O across multiple disk spindles. Read this white paper to understand partitioning so you can optimize your Oracle database.