I have to change a partitioned table in Sql Server 2008 R2 to a normal table to make my database compatible with Sql Server 2016 Standard Edition.
Actually the table has 5 partitions with the following number of rows:
> boundary, rows
2009-01-01 00:00:00.000 419
2010-01-01 00:00:00.000 386031
2011-01-01 00:00:00.000 1307990
2012-01-01 00:00:00.000 673183
The table contains a BLOB (image) column. The total size of the table is around 25 GB.
I have read through the question How to remove a table partition but although it has answered there is no accepted answer and the answers do not address my question entirely.
I realized the ALTER PARTITION FUNCTION MERGE RANGE command, but I do not really understand what will happen. Will the data be merget into one of the existing filegroups and afterwards I will still have a partitioned table?
Do I instead have to copy all the data into a new table with the same structure (may take quite a while...)?
I will have to perform this action during a downtime, so I need a procedure that is as efficient as possible.