Henry Ford has long been quoted as having said:
"Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black."
While there is some debate on what Mr Ford exactly said, it's clear that for some time now IBM has heartily embraced this philosophy with a succession of all black machines (occasionally graced with a coloured stripe). So I was rather excited to spot something new in the IBM Melbourne demo center: an IBM Netezza (pronounced net-ease-a) It's rack door is one of the coolest IBM covers I have seen in years!
Even the internal blades look cool (I love the big N).
In case your curious, IBM® Netezza® Analytics is a purpose-built advanced analytics platform that enables your enterprise to get the most out of its data, giving you quicker answers to increasingly complex questions. It is the simple appliance for serious analytics.
Of course while I should have been thinking about big data and smart analytics, instead I have been reminiscing about IBM machines with coloured covers. For instance the IBM 3350 (storage from the 1970s) could be ordered with covers that were red... (Actually I think the correct name was garnet rose).
As far as I can tell, IBM have not offered coloured panels on Enterprise kit since June 28, 2002.
Prior to this devices could be ordered with feature codes like:
#9060 Willow green
#9061 Garnet rose
#9062 Sunrise yellow
#9063 Classic blue
#9064 Charcoal brown
#9065 Pebble gray.
While it is easy to find pictures of machines with Classic Blue covers like these 3380s (with 3880 control unit)
And even visions of a red computer room (with an all white 3800 printer on the left hand side):
The only picture I have found so far that shows a yellow machine appears to have faded to orange over the years (I don't think IBM sold orange System/38s?).
I did some more digging and found this great Youtube video. You can see some old System 360 kit with red covers and at 00:46 there are some machines in custom bright yellow! The client literally ordered the machines painted with a custom tint. That takescase modding to a whole new level.
So should IBM be embracing the new cool and coming out with a bright orange XIV? How about a Storwize V7000 in fluorescent blue? A man can dream....
And if you want to see more about Netezza and it's incredibly cool rack (and even cooler architecture), check this video out: