Vendor neutrality is a business and design approach that seeks to ensure broad compatibility and interchangeability of products and technologies. The model encompasses standardization, non-proprietary design principles and unbiased business practices.
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Vendor-neutral hardware and software are designed for compatibility and interoperability. The term vendor-neutral contrasts with vendor-specific. In a vendor-specific data center, for example, hardware and software are supplied by single vendors, while in a vendor-neutral data center, technologies come from a variety of sources. Most current data centers are closer to the vendor-neutral model, although they may rely heavily upon a particular vendor.
Certification programs may also be vendor-neutral or vendor-specific. A vendor-neutral certification program covers the subject matter more broadly, while a vendor-specific program covers a single vendor's technology in greater depth.
In a business context, vendor neutrality translates to making decisions pragmatically in terms of the best options, rather than favoring one vendor over another for some other type of benefit.