Why are there a large number of open sockets on ESXi 4.1 opened with Virtual Server Protection?
If there is a large amount of virtual machine activity, for example a lot of powering on and off of protected virtual machines, the ESXi will leave a large number of sockets in a state where they will not be cleaned up. The sockets will show using esxcli network connection list on the ESXi server.
This only affects ESXi 4.1 and appears to be a problem with that particular release (and it's updates). In most cases a restart of management will correct the issues. Another alternative is to shut down and power on the Virtual Server Protection virtual machine (SVM).