A system and method for implementing functionality within a network on behalf of first and second computers communicating with each other through the network. A front-end computer is provided within the network having an interface for communicating data traffic with the first computer. A back-end computer is also implemented within the network having an interface for communicating data traffic with the second computer. A communication channel couples the front-end computer and the back-end computer. Data traffic is encoded over the communication channel in a first process in the front-end computer. Data traffic is also encoded over the communication channel in a second process in the back-end computer, wherein the first process and the second process implement compatible semantics.