vSphere 4.x iSCSI Heap Usage

When using more than 64 devices with the software iSCSI initiator the vmkernel logs will start to produce errors such as:

Jul 19 08:01:01 esx vmkernel: 0:03:38:54.053 cpu2:1039)iSCSI: bus 0 target 46 cannot allocate new session (size %Zu) at 10464
Jul 19 08:01:01 esx vmkernel: 0:03:38:54.054 cpu4:1040)WARNING: Heap: 1419: Heap vmk-iscsi (6288144/6291456): Maximum allowed growth (3320) too small for size (20480)

I most recently saw this problem crop up with a customer and a large XIV deployment to 32 vSphere hosts.  To resolve this problem we can increase the heap size to 8MB (from the default of 6MB) via this command:

esxcfg-module -s heap_max=8388608 iscsi_mod

Why 8388608?  Well this is the byte count (8 * 1024 * 1024 = 8388608).  Once this modification is complete a complete reboot of the ESX host is required to set this change.

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