Enhanced Linked Mode (ELM) improves the manageability of the environment. By using vCenter Enhanced Linked Mode, you can log in to all vCenter Server instances across the SDDC that are joined to the same vCenter Single Sign-on domain and access their inventories. Enhanced Linked Mode also replicates all global permissions, licenses, policies, and tags between the linked vCenter Server instances.

You can join up to 15 vCenter Server virtual appliance deployments in a single vSphere Single Sign-On domain.

Table 1. Design Decisions on vCenter Enhanced Linked Mode for the Workload Domain

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication


Join all vCenter Server instances to a single vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

When all vCenter Server instances are joined in to a single vCenter Single Sign-On domain, they can share authentication and license data across all components and regions.

  • Only one vCenter Single Sign-On domain exists.

  • The number of linked vCenter Server instances in the same vCenter Single Sign-On domain is limited to 15 instances. Because each workload domain can contain a single vCenter Server instance, one VMware Cloud Foundation instance can contain no more than 15 workload domains, including the management domain.


Create a ring topology for the Single Sign-On domain running in the vCenter Server instances.

By default, one vCenter Server instance replicates only with another vCenter Server instance. This setup creates a single point of failure for replication. A ring topology ensures that each vCenter Server instance has two replication partners and removes any single point of failure.