Cloud Computing Patterns, Mechanisms > Basics > Cloud Characteristics > Measured Usage
The measured usage characteristic represents the ability of a cloud platform to keep track of the usage of its IT resources, primarily by cloud consumers. Based on what is measured, the cloud provider can charge a cloud consumer only for the IT resources actually used and/or for the timeframe during which access to the IT resources was granted. In this context, measured usage is closely related to the on-demand characteristic.
Measured usage is not limited to tracking statistics for billing purposes. It also encompasses the general monitoring of IT resources and related usage reporting (for both cloud provider and cloud consumers). Therefore, measured usage is also relevant to clouds that do not charge for usage (which may be applicable to the private cloud deployment model described in the upcoming Cloud Deployment Models section).