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Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0017
Post Date 2/16/2018
Title Senior Linux Systems Administrator
City Tucson
State AZ

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) invites applications for a full-time experienced Linux Systems Administrator to join the NOAO Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) Data Management Operations (DMO) team. The successful applicant will manage and grow an existing system of 100+ Linux servers coupled with Peta-scale mass storage. The position will develop automated workflows to facilitate install, configuration management and monitoring of mission-critical hardware and software implementations.

Essential Functions:

  • Install, provision, and maintain RHEL-based Linux systems; bare-metal and virtual.
  • Work with developers to implement in-house, open source and other 3rd party software applications as required to improve overall systems performance, reliability and maintainability.
  • Maintain current documentation of systems design, including hardware/software refresh/upgrade cycles.
  • Develop scripts to automate system build, test, deploy & monitoring.
  • Prioritize and respond to trouble tickets, systems problems and outages, after hours if critical.
  • Install, tune and maintain large-scale high-availability, network-based storage.


  • Bachelor’s (4-year) degree, preferred with a technical major, such as engineering or computer science, a 2-year associate degree in related field with commensurate professional experience, or equivalent military training.
  • Four or more years of progressively responsible Linux systems administration experience and/or DevOps experience, with at least two years in an enterprise-scale environment.
  • Experience building and managing high availability network and clustered filesystems (NFS, GPFS).
  • Experience managing TCP/IP networks, hardware and DNS.
  • Experience with virtualization environments and tools (KVM, Xen).
  • Proficiency in at least one scripting language (e.g. BASH, Perl, Python, Ruby).
  • Occasional after-hours response to systems outages.
  • Some travel, including international travel to remote installations.
  • Team player: Exceptional analytical ability, problem solving, and communication skills.
  • Attention to details and commitment to achieving high quality results.
  • Commitment to staying abreast of cutting-edge hardware/software technologies.

Preferred Experice/Skills/Abilities:

  • Experience working in astronomy, engineering, or science-oriented facility.
  • Experience with DevOps tools (e.g. Puppet, Chef and/or Docker.)
  • Familiarity with version control systems (CVS, GIT).
  • Familiarity of web applications/services and associated technologies (HTML, CSS, JS, JAVA, Apache, Ruby/Rails, Django).
  • Familiarity with DBMS (MySQL, Postgres) install, configuration and tuning.
  • Familiarity with automated systems monitoring tools (Ganglia, Ichinga, Zabbix).
  • Familiarity with cloud computing frameworks (AWS, OpenStack).
  • Familiarity with high performance computing (HPC).
  • Familiarity with network security, hardening and user authentication protocols (LDAP).

NOAO offers an excellent benefits package, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment.

Please list 3 professional references in your application. Please attach a statement of professional interests or cover letter and CV or resume (PDF Files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: 18-0017LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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