Unfortunately very few IT administrators have their documentation in order. Even worse, very few of them that have documentation in order, have their password lists up to date and secure. Today I was about to upgrade a vCenter server to one of my colleagues, and was (not) surprised to learn that their password list does not contain neither the username nor password for the SSO admin on the vCenter server. However, there is a way to retrieve the password without having to go through VMware recommended procedure of resetting both SSO admin and master password.
Note that the password you have used during the initial installation of the SSO service is your master password. You can later change SSO admin password, but master password remains the same!
Notice that SSO admin in vSphere 5.1 is admin@system-domain while in 5.5 is email@example.com
To retrieve your SSO admin (master) password locate the file config.properties in C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\SSOServer\webapps\lookupservice\WEB-INF\classes\. This is basically a text file containing password and database information. Look for the line db.pass=
Not very good from the perspective of security, but it works.
This is just an example of the file:
## Jdbc Url db.url=jdbc:jtds:sqlserver://;serverName=;portNumber=1433;databaseName=RSA ## DB Username db.user=RSA_USER ## DB password db.pass=P@ssw0rd! <- This is your SSO admin password ## DB type db.type=Mssql ## DB host db.host=db01.sefnet.local