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Globally Distributed Content

Electronic content made available over the Internet is becoming increasingly important for providers and users alike. To provide the best possible service to end users it is desirable for content to be network-wise as close to client hosts as possible.
Static mirrors of sites are one means of distributing traffic between sites and giving users the opportunity to connect to a site that will give them a fast response. However, manually selecting sites, which may or may not be available, from a list of mirrors is a tedious process. The sites at the top of the list are a tempting choice --- economy of choice in lieu of the possibility of faster access.
Instead of expecting users to manually select a mirror, it makes sense for the service provider to automatically direct clients to a site that will offer them good performance, that is to have a global load balancing algorithm in place. One such algorithm is to use BGP to select which site has the least cost path to a given client. This paper will examine the implementation of such an load balancing scheme.