A global server load-balancing (GSLB) switch serves as a proxy to an authoritative DNS and communicates with numerous site switches that are coupled to host servers serving specific applications. The GSLB switch receives from site switches operational information regarding host servers within the site switches neighborhood. This operational information includes health check information that is remotely obtained in a distributed manner from remote metric agents at the site switches. When a client program requests a resolution of a host name, the GSLB switch, acting as a proxy of an authoritative DNS, returns one or more ordered IP addresses for the host name. The IP addresses are ordered using metrics, including the health check metric that evaluates these IP addresses based on the health check information communicated to the GSLB switch in a distributed manner by the distributed health check site switches. In one instance, the GSLB switch places the address that is deemed “best” at the top of the list.