We currently distribute snapshots of our database to our stores by using rdiff on compressed backups of the entire database.
In order to optimize how long it takes to both create these backups, and each store download them, we're looking to leave out some of the less important tables/rows.
The two largest tables are already in their own filegroups, but they aren't read-only since they are still used.
I've looked at horizontal partitioning for separating out the older data to a read-only filegroup, and I can exclude those from a backup using partial backups; however, I'm unclear on how to horizontally partition a table that already contains data, most of what I find is about creating a new partitioned table.
Is partitioning the recommended way of restricting what gets included in a full backup, or is there another way that I'm unaware of?
We are running SQL Server 2005 Enterprise.