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Suffice it to say this is really abnormal behavior, especially when you give a max heap of 32mb. Even the 400mb result seems quite excessive. I would rather scout around some centos forums to see what might cause this to happen or for some pointers on tracking down the cause through the os. You could also experiment with openjdk, to see if you get different results that way.
Thanks for the reply.
Actually, I realized the other server is 5.9, not 6.2. After doing some more reading I suspect this may be the manifestation of the new allocator behavior https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=640286
I've found comments such as this: "Many applications will see a large increase in virtual memory usage (but not resident memory) when running on RHEL 6 vs RHEL 5"