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Best and most efficient way to upgrade openLDAP

  We are looking for input on how to upgrade openLDAP from 2.2 to 2.3. We have looked and it seems the only documented way to upgrade is by unloading and reloading the data which is very time consuming (approx. 8-10 hours). Since this is a production system it is not adequate. What options are available?

To give more more background:

- there are currently approximately 7M entries in the LDAP;
- we are migrating to a new server with a new version of openLDAP (dependant on RHEL version - previously RHEL 4 now RHEL 5);
- we tried the option creating a staging server with 2.2 and importing on the new system (v2.3) the extracted data on the new system. Then we activated replication (SLURPD) between the two and tried updating the staging server with the transaction logs of production hoping the data would then replicate to the new system. But that does not work.

Any ideas on how it can be done with minimal impact to the current LDAP and reducing the outage period?