After a testing upgrade-on-attach for a while and combining it with Turbocharged SVr4 packages I now have a solution which brings the downtime to under one hour for an entire upgrade including local zones.
Everything would have been even easier if we had all root filesystems on ZFS. Since migrating several terabytes of data at the same time as the upgrade was not an option this was a good solution:
- Detach all local zones
- Add Live upgrade and Turbocharge patches
(119254-70,121428-13,121430-40,124630-28 or later, included in S10u8)
- lucreate to a ZFS rpool
- luupgrade to S10U10 and add additional patches
- luactivate and reboot
$(zoneadm attach -U) all zones in parallel
There you go, Solaris 10 8/11 is ready for the SPARC T4!
Patches for "Turbo-Charging SVR4 Package Install" are now available