At least the publicly-searchable knowledge base had something.
I tried searching for “Kernel panic – not syncing: Fatal Exception” and “RIP” and “cpuid4_cache_lookup”.
And wouldn’t you know it! There’s a known issue if you try to install RHEL >5.4 x64 on ESXi 4.x if it’s running on AMD 6000 series CPUs. Guess what – we’re on ESXi 4.1 on AMD 61xx CPUs and were trying to install RHEL 5.8 x64.
The only workaround is to install 5.4 and then upgrade – that’s dumb. There needs to be a fix from somewho for this problem!