Oracle Sharding backup and recovery operations are centralized using new commands in the
GDSCTL utility. You can define a backup policy for a sharded database as a whole and restore one or more shards, or the entire sharded database, to the same point in time. Configured backups are run automatically, and you can define a schedule to run backups during off-peak hours.
This feature streamlines backup and restore configuration and simplifies the overall management of backup policies for all of the databases in a sharded database topology. In earlier releases, you had to manually configure backup policies for each shard and the shard catalog database. Some of this work could be done with Oracle Enterprise Manager, but there was no way to orchestrate a complete restore of a sharded database such that all shards and the shard catalog are restored to the same point in time.