One embodiment of the present invention provides a system that facilitates receiving content at a client from one or more servers that can potentially provide the content. The client starts by sending a request for the content to a directory server. In response to the request, the client receives a list of candidate servers that can potentially provide the content from the directory server. Once the client has received the list of candidate servers, the client sends a request to one or more of the candidate servers for the content, and subsequently receives the content from one or more of the candidate servers.
7,020,719 System and method for high-performance delivery of Internet messages by selecting first and second specialized intermediate nodes to optimize a measure of communications performance between the source and the destination
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