If by partitions you are referring to Active Directory naming contexts, there are a minimum of three: the Configuration NC contains forest-wide configuration data and is replicated to every domain controller in a forest. The Schema NC contains schema information and is also replicated forest-wide. Finally, each AD domain within a forest has a Domain Naming Context that is fully replicated to the domain controllers within the individual domain, while Global Catalog Servers (GCs) maintain a partial, read-only replica of every domain NC in the forest.
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