Do you use servers on the internet? Do you connect to them with
ssh? Then you
should take a look at SSHFS.
It allows you to mount a directory on a different computer as if it's a
directory on your own. And then
sshfs takes care making sure that your
commands do the right thing. It's amazing.
In The Hideous Name Pike and Weinberger write about a similar thing. You can profit if you can the same tools in the same way regardless if you're on your local machine or on a remote machine.