It will be interesting to see if, in the middle of what is certain to be a very challenging year, CIOs have the appetite -- let alone the budget - for investing in a new computing architecture that has historically been limited almost exclusively to scientific rather than commercial applications. And while Oracle will no doubt be able to demonstrate the theoretical advantages of the grid approach, the gap CIOs are facing between theory and practice is wider and deeper here in 2009 than it's been in a long, long time.
Oracle will need to showcase some early, tangible, and dramatic customer wins with mainstream commercial applications if it's going to be able to convince CIOs to evaluate this impressive but commercially untested approach. And Oracle will also have to have a comprehensive set of proof-points showing that the 11g Release 2 database will not require extensive retrofitting of applications, middleware, integration and other costly and time-consuming requirements.
If Oracle can do that, it stands a pretty good chance of gaining traction among CIOs desperately seeking ways to alter or even invert the 80/20 ratio that currently requires far too much of the IT budget to be spent on internal requirements. If not, though, Oracle might well find that the masses have other, more-pressing issues to deal with.
P.S. - I wasn't able to find much/any information on commercial applications for grid computing. But to get an idea of the types of non-commercial projects now running on grid technology, click here and here.