With reporting by Erin Moriarty
Intel‘s John Healy, general manager of the company’s software-defined network division, broke the partnership news Wednesday morning during his keynote at NFV World Congress in San Jose. Calling Cisco CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect David Ward onstage as a surprise guest, Healy seemed please to reveal that Cisco would join the Network Builders’ roughly 150-member roster.
Founded in 2013 primarily as a marketing and networking hub for Intel’s vendor partners who are focused on network transformation, the Network Builders Program centers around an Intel-hosted product catalogue and directory. The site also hosts an end-user hub that encourages them to engage with vendors and each other.
Intel — in a crowning achievement of homonym confusion — also encourages Network Builders Program members to create profiles on a private social networking site called NetworkIn, where networking industry insiders can “engage directly with peers and share documents and industry news that are relevant to the ecosystem.”
Whether the documents NetworkIn users typically swap are specifications or selfies remains tantalizingly unclear. “All info in the NetworkIn area is available to members only, cannot be shared outside of NetworkIn private tool,” Intel says in a statement provided to SDxCentral, adding that members are able to upload a photo to their profile.
“The photo can be a selfie too,” the statement notes.
Cisco and Intel do have a solid history of more technical partnerships though. In 2010, the two companies collaborated on the transition to a 10 Gb/s Ethernet unified networking model. Other joint projects have included testing media-ready WLAN products and services in 2011, and a joint 2013 study of the cloud’s impact on IT consumption models.
Asked what Intel could do to help ongoing collaboration, Ward, wearing his preferred onstage footwear of socks, joked: “Work faster, harder, and smarter.”
“But really,” Ward continued as the raucous audience laughter died down, “allow us to have a hypervisor or container system that’s more easily controlled and attached to the network.”
This story has been updated with response from Intel on NetworkIn’s selfie policy, and corrected to reflect David Ward’s preference for wearing socks during public appearances. An earlier version of this story incorrectly described them as “toe-shoes.” We regret the error.