CDN Morning Briefing, August 27, 2020 – Cisco techno-Babble, plus the latest news

To keep up with the firehose of news and press releases, we’ve decided to deliver some extra channel news to you on the side. Some of it is an extension of our own reporting on the channel that didn’t make its way into a story, while others might be content we’ve bookmarked and thought of sharing with you. We’re doing a similar thing at IT World Canada – check it out here. Missed last week’s CDN Morning Briefing? Read it here. 

What you need to know, right now

It’s what you need to know right now in the world of IT and tech – ’nuff said. (Best taken with a side of Hashtag Trending)


Google employees acknowledge that it’s privacy laws are not so simple at all, researchers say they have achieved the fastest-ever internet speed, and is it time to hire a Chief Health Officer?


From The Register – NetApp trims workforce by about six per cent, SolidFire seemingly not an eternal flame [FULL STORY]

NetApp statement’s mention of a focus on “storage software and systems” certainly suggests the corp may have decided to narrow its ambitions. The publication also cites an Aug. 25 email that details a 5.5 per cent cut to the company’s 11,000-ish-strong workforce.

Cisco says it’s going to make meeting experiences 10x better than in-person interactions

We’re not sure about the 10x math yet, but Cisco is determined to stomp out those pesky background noises once and for all with its collaboration platforms, and in the process, build a killer communications tool for business users. This week we listened to Jeetu Patel, senior vice-president and general manager, Cisco Security and Applications Business Unit, break down the company’s latest target acquisition, BabbleLabs, and the future of Webex and Teams.


Jeetu Patel, alongside the rest of Cisco’s collaboration team, is expecting its products to deliver a 10x improvement over our in-person interactions.

“Not 10 per cent better – 10 times better,” Patel repeated.

On the heels of Cisco’s announcement that it intends to acquire California-based BabbleLabs, Patel took to Webex to break down the proposed acquisition and the importance of the BabbleLabs’ noise-cancelling technology that helped the startup flourish into existence in 2018. Patel is adamant that the purchase – the tech giant hasn’t disclosed the amount it bought the startup for – has a monumental purpose in Cisco’s collaboration roadmap.

Jeetu Patel, head of collaboration security, and applications for Cisco, talking to webinar participants.

“As a technology company, we have to make sure the innovation happens organically. The goal is not to purchase each capability. We want to make a cohesive experience, and if something external helps us get there faster, we’ll buy it. But our engineers are relentless about how to make things more inclusive,” he explained.

Step one is making sure people can hear each other clearly, he says. Cisco is convinced BabbleLabs’ automatic speech-enhancement software is the answer and it couldn’t come any sooner. A yet-to-be-released Cisco global survey says nearly 100 per cent of workers experience frustrations from distractions during video meetings when working from home. Some type of background noise was involved in two of the top five frustrations.

Cisco also points to these three reasons for how BabbleLabs’ technology goes beyond background noise suppression:

  • It distinguishes speech from background noise;
  • Removes background noise in real-time;
  • It does all this independent of language

Cisco currently boasts Cisco Webex Meetings And Cisco Webex Teams. “Meetings” is the tech giant’s cloud-based app that provides video conferencing and online meetings. Webex Teams is a separate cloud-based app for continuous teamwork featuring videoconferencing, meetings, group messaging, file sharing and whiteboarding.

When asked when people can expect to see the changes, Cisco’s chief technology officer chimed in and said both Webex Meetings and Webex Teams users will notice improved audio quality this fall.

Patel says he’s tasked with collaborating with Cisco’s other four engineering leads as part of the company’s renewed focus on emerging technologies and internal innovation. He brings more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in enterprise software development. His most recent post was the chief product officer and chief strategy officer of Box.

We’ve made focused on investments in AI. We will be world-class at what we do,” he said, referring to Cisco’s other recent acquisitions aimed at improving its collaboration portfolio, such as Modcam and voicea. 


In case you missed it

The recent news that we maybe didn’t get to yet, or it’s the news we’ve reported on and feel is worth resurfacing. Sometimes we’ll also feature awesome stories from other publications.


Pure Storage’s FlashArray//C was introduced about a year ago, and was described as a central part of the company’s mission to produce all-flash enterprise storage for the cost of hard drive-based storage. This week, it announced enhancements to the product. An Aug. 26 press release had this to say about the enhancements:

With the second generation of FlashArray//C, Pure is extending its QLC advantage by delivering the first and only enterprise-grade all-QLC flash array – transforming raw QLC into a high-endurance medium while delivering new cost economics that are 30 per cent. less than similarly sized hybrid storage arrays on the market today. FlashArray//C is available with 24.7TB and, the industry’s largest, 49TB QLC DirectFlash modules providing the lowest possible total cost of ownership. This makes all-flash accessible for use cases previously relegated to spinning disk or inefficient hybrid solutions, like backup and data protection, test/dev environments, and workload consolidation.

Pure says FlashArray//C is one of its fastest-growing products in its portfolio. More details can be found here.


Veeam Backup and Replication 10A is now generally available for download.  The latest release features several enhancements, including AWS‑native backup and recovery built into the Veeam Backup and Replication console, so you can:

  • Unify AWS backup and recovery with a single platform for cloud, virtual and physical;
  • Enable Cloud Mobility with backup and recovery to and from any environment;
  • Drive more value from Veeam Universal License (VUL);
  • And more

(Source: Veeam)


From Channel Daily News – Canadian Computer Charity Golf Classic silent auction goes online [FULL STORY]

The annual golf tournament is cancelled this year, but a silent auction is still humming on the event’s website.


Reddit recap

The MSP subreddit community is growing rapidly. It’s also a chatty bunch. With more than 80,000 members as of today, it’s worth taking a look at what they have to say every once in a while. Here are the recent top posts. Click on the posts to view additional responses.


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Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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