The proposed ECO-CLOUD project aims to provide an integrated solution to the autonomous energy-efficient management of communication networks and processes in a cloud computing environment. Current research on cloud computing has evolved from, and is dominated by, cluster and grid computing domains where communication aspects are secondary. However, cloud computing systems and cloud applications are fundamentally different from cluster and grid computing, and communications must be considered to unveil their full potential.To address this gap, the ECO-CLOUD project aims to develop a framework of novel techniques and to deliver efficient solutions, in the form of prototype software, for optimisation of performance and energy-efficiency in (a) network hardware (switches, routers and links), (b) data center communication systems, and (c) communication protocols. Furthermore, ECO-CLOUD aims to develop new metrics for assessing the energy efficiency and performance of cloud computing communication systems. It will be proposed that these metrics be included in future standards and it is projected that it will impact the whole cloud computing industry, and guide the design of future data centers.Another important outcome of the ECO-CLOUD project will be the release of a cloud computing simulation platform to offer fine-grained modelling of communication processes. This will be used for performance evaluation and for comparison of the techniques developed which will be further benchmarked in an operational cloud computing facility. The simulation platform will be based on the GreenCloud simulator, developed by the Principle Investigator (PI), which has proven to be extremely successful in the research community.The contributions of the proposed ECO-CLOUD project will be based upon the PI’s experience the fields required for the project, including communications, network protocols, routing, cross-layer design, cognitive algorithms, and energy-efficient cloud computing. The latter has primarily been obtained through the PI’s involvement in the FNR-CORE/Green-IT project, projected to end in 2012. The PI has a highly successful track record in developing energy-efficient communication solutions for cloud computing data centers. In 2010 his contribution on energy-efficient network-aware scheduling received the IEEE/ACM Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Green Computing .The ECO-CLOUD project is an FNR CORE Junior Track proposal with a well-defined focus on cloud computing communication systems and their energy efficiency. By aiming at energy efficiency and the performance of cloud computing communication systems, the ECO-CLOUD project will become a significant step towards bridging two major ICT research domains, namely a) communication systems and b) distributed and cloud computing.In the Luxembourg R&D setting, the ECO-CLOUD project aims to contribute to the “green” computing research initiative, creating knowledge and practice related to communications for the benefit of the cloud computing community and future research. Furthermore, the project will provide practical solutions that can be commercialized with the support of the 15 major data centers that operate out in Luxembourg.