ESX fails to boot after installation on a server with more than 190GB of physical memory (1022487)
After installing ESX 4.0 or ESX 4.0 Update 1 on a server with more than 190GB of physical memory, booting the ESX host fails and opens the recovery shell due to a lesser amount of low reserved-memory (low-memory), and displays the following message in the VMkernel log:
module heap [Module heap name]: creation failed - Out of memory
This issue occurs when the low reserved-memory is around 2GB and the system has a large physical memory (around 190 GB).
ESX reserves a fraction of the low-memory for critical allocations. If the ESX host has a low amount of reserved physical memory, ESX might not have enough memory for all the non-critical low-memory requests while booting the host. In this scenario, the ESX host enters the recovery shell.
This issue is fixed in ESX 4.0 Update 2. To download ESX 4.0 Update 2, see the VMware download page.
Workaround for ESX 4.0 and ESX 4.0 Update 1
Reduce the low reserved memory by setting the boot option memLowReservedMaxMB to 384MB.
In the bootloader console, append the following to the command line: vmkopts=memLowReservedMaxMB:384
Note: Depending on the types of devices in your network, you may have to increase the amount of low reserved-memory to achieve a better performance.
Related KB: KB 1016239