I think you can probably accomplish this, but I’m not sure you’ll also be able to use Ignition’s built in partitioning. Instead, you’ll set Ignition to partition on 1 year, and then set up the tables yourself, according to the names that it would create (“sqlt_data_20120101”).
Since the different databases are on the same server, you should be able to reach them through fully qualified names. So, you’ll have one database that is the “controller”, which is the one Ignition is set up to look at. It will have the “sqlth_partitions” table, which is used to associate data tables with time. Once you make the other databases, with a table for the data, you’ll add entries here for each year. The start_time will be Jan. 1 at midnight, and the end time will be Dec 31st, midnight-1 second, for each year. So, for example:
(come back in 2.5 years for the other times, if you need them )
If you’re creating the tables yourself, the lack of built in partitioning isn’t exactly a problem, because as gbuehler mentioned, there are better facilities built into SQL Server that you could use.
As for whether or not the data should really be in different databases, it’s up to the DBA. I suspect he wants to do that because sql server naturally creates file groups per db (I think). You could keep all the data in the same db, using this same technique of pre-creating the tables, and manually create a file group for each table, but fundamentally everything would end up more or less the same.
Hope this helps (and works, since I’ve never tried it!),