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This article needs additional citations for verification. Utility computing, or The Computer Utility, is a service provisioning model in which a service provider makes computing resources and infrastructure management available to the customer as needed, and charges them for specific usage rather than a flat rate. This repackaging of computing services became the foundation of the shift to “on demand” computing, software as a service and cloud computing models that further propagated the idea of computing, application and network as a service. There was some initial skepticism about such a significant shift.

However, the new model of computing caught on and eventually became mainstream. IBM, HP and Microsoft were early leaders in the new field of utility computing, with their business units and researchers working on the architecture, payment and development challenges of the new computing model. Google, Amazon and others started to take the lead in 2008, as they established their own utility services for computing, storage and applications. Utility computing can support grid computing which has the characteristic of very large computations or sudden peaks in demand which are supported via a large number of computers. Utility computing” has usually envisioned some form of virtualization so that the amount of storage or computing power available is considerably larger than that of a single time-sharing computer.