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Do you have any JNI or 3rd party libraries that use JNI?
Are you using any custom class loaders?
Have you in any way, via command line options, adjusted the VM behavior and specifically the GC behavior?
The Sun VM used to have a problem with allocated Thread instances that were never started. I think that might have been fixed though.
As a debugging aid try reducing the vm max heap size significantly. That should cause it to fail sooner.
Thanks for the reply.
I have confirmed with -verbose:jni that the only JNI libraries getting loaded are those belonging to the JDK. My application does make heavy use of the ProcessClassLoader from the Jboss JBPM library, but classes all seem to be unloading normally, and my Permgen usage stays very low and stable. Is there anything I should look at in regards to this class loader? I have tried both a lack of GC parameters and specified the concurrent mark sweep collector, with the same results.