Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to What makes a network efficient AND robust?
Not sure I understand your question correctly. Anyway there are several layers in the network. I think what you are dicussing here is more on the top level around the application level.
I think if you can get the most out of your network by starting on the lower levels. Physical that it is.
Fiber Optics now carries the fastest network transmission rates. There are also switches that offer redundant links and the like. Your choice of equipment should be a good factor which why Juniper is up there rather than Cisco on the biggest routers in the net.
Basically I think each layer has to be optimized and performance is done more on the lower layers of network and fault tolerance on the higher levels. Just like TCP/IP. IP is think on layer 3 and TCP is on layer 4. IP does not have any fault tolenrance (ACK thingies). TCP layer does the retransmission of packets in case of failure. Of course there is some fault tolerance already in Ethernet which is down on layer 2.
Sorry if this does not answer your question. Or maybe my view is a little different since I come from a Network Admin background.