I am facing this problem that the guest servers each allocated with 4 GB of RAM is not releasing the memory to the host even when the actual utilization is about 1 GB or below. VMware tools been installed, Ballooning settings in registry and configuration file of the VM is set correctly, yet the guest VMs are locking on the memory even though no reservation been made.
Is the host under sufficient memory pressure to trigger reclamation through ballooning?
As Scott mentions, memory is not released in any shape or form unless there's contention. Meaning that only "ballooning / zipping / swapping" comes into play when you are physically running out of memory.
I have 16 GB of RAM in my lab environment, of which approx. 1.2 GB is consumed by the host and running three virtual system with 4 GB each .. that had left me with approx. 2.5 GB of RAM on host about 17%. Now i would create few more VM and check if the ballooning is working and get back. Thank you for your advise scott28tt and depping .