Zones parallel patching is an enhancement to the standard Solaris 10 patch utilities, which comprise the supported method for patching non-global zones on your Solaris 10 system. This feature improves zones patching performance by patching non-global zones in parallel.
For releases prior to Solaris 10 10/09, this feature is delivered in the patch utilities patch, 119254-66 or later revision (SPARC) and 119255-66 or later revision (x86).
The maximum number of non-global zones to be patched in parallel is set in a new configuration file for patchadd, /etc/patch/pdo.conf. Revision 66 or later of this patch works for all Solaris 10 systems and higher level patch automation tools such as Sun xVM Ops Center.
The global zone is still patched first. When the global zone has finished patching, the number of non-global zones set in num_proc= are patched together. The maximum number is 1.5 times the number of online CPUs , up to the number of actual non-global zones on the system.
An example is:
Number of online CPUs is 4
Setting is num_proc=6
If there are more than this number of non-global zones on the system, the first 6 will be patched in parallel, then the remaining non-global zones will be patched as processes finish patching the first group.
Using Solaris Live Upgrade as well as the new patch to manage patching provides fallback capability if problems occur. You can patch an inactive boot environment while the system is still in production, and boot back to original boot environment (BE) if problems are discovered in the new BE.
To quickly update all of the packages for the zone, so that these packages match what would be seen with a newly installed non-global zone on the host, the zones can be detached while the global zone is patched, and then reattached with the -U option to match the level of the global zone. SeeUsing Update on Attach as a Patching Solution for more information.