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to add: customer does not want to pay for Partition. any features/options other than partition?
The best way to keep your data accessible is to keep it in the database. With Oracle, you can allocate your data to the appropriate storage tiers according to your performance and cost requirements. You use the partitioning option to do this, but the cost saved by using cheap disks for your older, infrequently accessed data can more than make up for the cost of the partitioning option. And the ILM Assistant which facilitates your use of storage tiers is free.
Because of the magic of partitioning, all of your data is accessible all of the time, performance is optimized because queries that exclude the older data never look at the older partitions, and cost is minimized because you only store your hottest, most frequently used data on a minimal number of fast disks.