System partitioning is the process of dividing your system into non-overlapping sets of nodes in order to make your system more efficient and more tailored to your needs. System partitions are usually relatively static and long-lived entities.
A system partition is, at the most elementary level, a group of nodes (not including the control workstation). In essence, a system partition is a subset of an SP system which consists of sufficient pieces (nodes, control workstation, data, commands, and so on) to form a logical SP subsystem.
With system partitions, you can ensure that applications using the SP Switch running on one group of nodes are not inadvertently affected by activity on other nodes in the system.
Dependent nodes and SP-attached servers should be considered the same as standard nodes when planning a system partition.
System partitioning affects communication which occurs over the SP Switch only; other communication paths are unaffected. System partitioning also provides environmental controls that allow the system administrator to control and monitor only the current system partition.