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In this paper, we examine the potential benefits of Web proxy caches in improving the effective capacity of servers and networks. Since networks and servers are typically provisioned based on a high percentile of the load, we focus on the effects of proxy caching on the tail of the load distribution. We find that, unlike their substantial impact on the average load, proxies have a diminished impact on the tail of the load distribution. The exact reduction in the tail and the corresponding capacity savings depend on the nature of the workload and the percentile of the load distribution chosen for provisioning networks and servers-the higher the percentile, the smaller the savings. For workloads considered in this study, compared with over a 50% reduction in the average load, the savings in network and server capacity was only 20%-35% for the 99th percentile of the load distribution. We also find that while proxies can be somewhat useful in smoothing out some of the burstiness in Web workloads; the resulting workload continues, however, to exhibit substantial burstiness and a heavy-tailed nature. We identify one-time requests for large objects to be the limiting factor that diminishes the impact of proxies on the tail of load distribution. We conclude that, while proxies are immensely useful to users due to the reduction in the average response time, they are less effective in improving the capacities of networks and servers.