So ran into an issue after an upgrade from 5.5 to 6.0 U1 EP3. Search function in VCenter would not work properly and would show as an empty inventory in Web client when logged in under a domain authenticated account.
There can be two solutions to this issue.
One solution is to restart the inventory services on your VCenter server or appliance. You can find these solutions in the KB articles below
But for my case this didn’t work. I even rebooted the entire VCenter to try to get a fresh start. For me the problem was a little bit different it seems.
The issue here seems to be the Identity resource on SSO got out of sync with the domain.While firstname.lastname@example.org had the search function working and the web services functioning completely, I was a puzzled. After a quick 10 minute call to VMware the gentleman on the other side recommended we recreate the SSO identity source on the VCenter.
I took a screen shot of my SSO identity settings and took a deep breath while VCenter did its thing. Surprisingly, This seemed to fix the issue. Once the new identity source was put into place the search function returned and I could get back to business! From what i was told BY the tech at VMware this seems to be an issue they noticed often with upgrades. not really a bug of sorts but a hiccup in the upgrade process.
Documentation from VMware below.