Systems Administrator

About the Position

The University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute has an opening in the Persistent Systems Infrastructure (PSI) operations group, and we seek to hire a person with a Linux systems administration background to join a dynamic group that provides support for researchers in a variety of fields in scientific computation.  

We operate a variety of persistent and high performance computing platforms, including two large commodity based clusters, big data analytics and advanced storage systems. The Persistent Systems Infrastructure group, in which this position is located, is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure services that support the High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters and other research systems. 

The successful candidate for this position will join a dynamic and advanced infrastructure operations team. Responsibilities will include performing systems and database administration, design, and upgrades for a broad range of complex systems that support the supercomputer clusters and other services at MSI. Candidates should be experienced at high technical levels, and able to serve as subject matter experts in multiple technical disciplines. They may independently lead small-scale or sub-functional teams/projects, and will operate as a member of a diverse multi-member operations team, using their technical knowledge and skills alongside other members of the group. 

Position Responsibilities

  • Install and manage local and remote physical and virtual Linux systems
  • RedHat and Debian based Linux systems and service administration
  • Establish and audit system, service, and platform performance metrics
  • Create, deploy, and update Kickstart, VMware, OpenStack, and Citrix images
  • MySQL, postgreSQL, MariaDB, etc. database hosting and configuration
  • Bash and/or other Linux system scripting
  • Write and maintain Puppet module, and other systems automation, code
  • Configure and maintain large (PB) scale storage platforms
  • Act as the primary escalation point for user-facing infrastructure problems
  • Participates in a on-call 24x7 pager rotation with other unit staff

Required Qualifications

  • Related BA/BS and two years of work experience in the areas of systems design and administration.
  • Or, unrelated BA/BS and four years of work experience in the areas of systems design and administration.

This position, as a member of the PSI group, will operate as part of a team that pools expertise in multiple areas to support the wide array of services and platforms needed for normal operation of MSI. Successful candidates will possess expertise in several (4 or more) of these areas. 

  • Linux systems, service, and database management
    • RedHat, Debian, OS upgrades and patching, software configuration, MySQL, PostGREsql, etc.
  • Block, object, and file data storage and access protocols
    • POSIX, S3, NFS, SMB, etc.
  • Parallel and mass (multi PB) data storage platforms
    • CEPH, Panasas, GPFS, Lustre, etc.
  • Virtual hosting platform configuration, deployment, and maintenance
    • OpenStack, VMware, AWS, etc.
  • Physical and virtual systems deployment
    • Physical systems, virtual machines in VMware, OpenStack, Ctirix, AWS, etc.
  • Systems automation, mass-orchestration, and mass-deployment
    • Puppet, cloud-init, KickStart, PXE, shell scripting, etc.
  • Backup and recovery solutions
    • TSM/SpectrumProtect, S3 replication, filesystem snapshotting, etc.
  • Identity management and integration with external identity providers
    • OpenLDAP, Active Directory, Oracle IDM, etc.
  • Systems and service performance evaluation and monitoring
    • Nagios, iometer, etc.
  • Transport, access, and storage network configuration, management
    • Cisco, Fortigate, Quanta, Dell, HP, Mellanox, Arista, Brocade, etc.
  • Systems and network security and access controls
    • PAM, iptables, network firewall configuration, AIDE, Nessus, SNORT, etc.

Preferred Qualifications and Selection Criteria

  • Able to relate to, and work well with, MSI's researchers, customers, and departmental peers from a wide range of backgrounds and diversities
  • Demonstrated ability to self-prioritize tasks and make effective use of time when faced with multiple demands, conflicting priorities, or ambiguous situations
  • Demonstrated self-improvement and motivation to continue expanding technical expertise
  • Able to gather and act appropriately on input and information from technical and non-technical users and peers
  • Able to keep a positive mindset and make well-reasoned decisions when facing stressful or emergency situations
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to a culture of exploring and evaluating new and novel possibilities and approaches to existing and emerging problems

Candidates invited to participate in interviews will be asked to provide physical or digital examples of the following criteria if available.

  • Excellent technical and non-technical written communication and documentation skills
  • Intermediate experience writing of shell, or other scripted language, scripts
  • Experience writing code for system configuration automation tools such as Puppet, Salt, Chef, etc.
  • Experience designing and executing systems, project, and/or technical implementation plans

Physical Requirements

  • Positions in this job family typically require: fingering, grasping, talking, hearing, seeing and repetitive motions.
  • Sedentary Work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.

To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. The Job ID for this position is 329965.

Visit the University of Minnesota Employment site for complete instructions.

Link for external (to University of Minnesota) applicants

Link for internal (to University of Minnesota) applicants

See all positions open at MSI.