Don't know enough about their setup but Oracle allows DB links between databases, even on different servers and the idea would still work, you just need to tell the SQL that one database is over a link. This still offloads the work to the database, maybe even better if both servers are in a data centre as traffic doesn't flow from one DB to Perl to other DB (OK Perl maybe at same place as one of the DB's).
Again with Oracle you can use views and synonyms to make the remote table appear to be local so you only need to connect to one database. When I was doing something similar I had to create the link on the fly because I was dealing with multiple remote databases and wanted to use the same link name so that is also possible. This also meant that when script wasn't running the link was absent too so users couldn't access the remote databases.
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