Increasing the amount of RAM assigned to the ESX Server service console is the VMware Knowledge Base article that explains how to increase the Service Console allocated memory (http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=1003501&sliceId=2&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&dialogID=64395968&stateId=0%200%2064393864).
From the KB article:
“By default the service console on an ESX Server host is usually not configured to utilize the maximum amount of RAM.” [ ... ] On ESX Server 3.x the amount of RAM is set to 272MB.
The default values are usually sufficient, however there are several instances where VMware recommends to increase the RAM assigned:
When third-party system management agents are installed or crashing on the service console.
When a backup agent is installed on the service console.
When heavy swap file utilization is noticed on the service console
Hopefully you already have a swap partition that will support bumping your Service Console ram up to the 800 mb maximum. If not, try increasing the memory to at least 512 mb and see if you notice any improvement.
Also from the same KB article, Here are the step by step instructions for increasing the Service Console memory:
“To change the amount of RAM assigned to the service console:
Changes do not take effect until the ESX Server is rebooted. For more information on rebooting an ESX Server host, see Rebooting an ESX Server (1003530). http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1003530
Checking for resource starvation of the ESX service console is a VMware Knowledge Base article that explains how to use top utility to troubleshoot for (http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=1003496&sliceId=2&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&dialogID=64395968&stateId=0%200%2064393864):
High CPU utilization on an ESX Server
High memory utilization on an ESX Server
Slow response when administering an ESX Server