Online computing or storage sold as a metered commercial service in a way similar to a public utility. This is the fundamental business model of public cloud providers. Customers are billed per second, minute or hour for computing resources that are consumed. Storage is typically priced by the size of the data being stored, and network bandwidth costs are metered by the number of throughput ingresses and egresses from the network. Most services provided by a cloud provider has a metered billing element.
in other words
The meter maids of the cloud.