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Based in Memphis, Tenn., The University Network (TUN) is a leader in campus communications, offering a Web-based plasma screen messaging system to reach students at educational institutions. The narrowcast communication systems are placed in high traffic areas such as student unions, recreation centers and dining facilities.

A large format plasma screen displays university information and commercial messages, utilizing advanced Internet technology to communicate with this very mobile and hard-to-reach audience. The University Network currently has more than 100 installations across the contiguous U.S.

StroniX, Inc., a company specializing in legacy computer integrations, was tasked in 2003 with developing the hardware and software infrastructure for operating The University Network. TUN has 12 full-time staff members and hundreds of outside users accessing its network at any given time, via both PC and Mac platforms. As a result, StroniX needed to build a network server system that experienced minimum downtime, had relatively high security, and could service multiplatform users across a distributed computer network.

StroniX had ordered a complete server solution (at the cost of $7,000) for servicing TUN until a technical support team member suggested the company try NetMAX software. NetMAX saved the cost of hiring a systems person to administer what was originally planned to be a Windows-based network. In addition, NetMAX came with no additional licensing requirements.

The NetMAX Professional Suite includes proven applications such as the popular Apache Web server and Sendmail. It offers the full power of a Linux operating system with a simplified setup for obtaining a fully functioning Web, e-mail and FTP server that is platform agnostic. NetMAX also enables users to host multiple domains on a single IP address — an important feature for The University Network, since it helped keep their operating costs as low as possible