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The focus of the research presented in this paper is the end-to-end analysis of a distributed Video-on-Demand (VoD) system. We analyze the distributed architecture of a VoD system to design global request handling and admission control strategies and evaluate them using global metrics. The performance evaluation methodology developed in this paper helps in determining efficient ways of using all resources in the VoD architecture within the constraints of providing guaranteed high quality service to each request. For instance, our simulation results show that request handling policies based on limited redirection of blocked requests to other resources perform better than load sharing policies. We also show that request handling policies based on redirection have simpler connection establishment semantics than load sharing policies and, therefore, are easily incorporated into reservation or signaling protocols.