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Linux Systems Administrator - High Performance Computing (HPC)

Posted 13 October by Science and Technology Facilities Council Ended

Linux Systems Administrator - High Performance Computing (HPC)

STFC Daresbury Laboratory, Daresbury, Cheshire

Salary £30,056 - £32,670 (plus £1,000 recruitment and retention allowance per annum)

About Us

At the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), one of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary science research organisations, the expertise of our computing staff is key to making our research happen. We work with the very latest technologies to drive advances in both hardware and software that have genuine real world applications. Whether it is the search for the Higgs Boson and dark matter, analysing climate data or genomics, our systems tackle the biggest and most challenging problems in scientific computing.

STFC’s Hartree Centre is the UKs foremost High Performance Computing (HPC) and Data Analytics Technology centre. Through multi-million pound government backing, and the world’s most talented researchers, engineers and software developers, we provide an outcome-based collaborative R&D service that enables UK industry and academia to develop better products, services and processes.

We want to see UK businesses outperforming their global competitors. We want to grow the economy, create skilled jobs and train people to excel in them. Most of all, we want to keep the UK at the forefront of industrial innovation. At the Hartree Centre, we're making all this happen and more, by enabling UK industry to fully embrace and integrate the latest digital and cognitive technologies.

About The Role

We now have an opportunity for a talented Systems Administrator with an interest in HPC to join the Hartree Platforms and Infrastructure Group to assist in managing our complex suite of hardware and software. This role will provide an excellent opportunity to further develop skills in HPC, Linux system administration, virtualisation, large storage systems and hardware support.

The Hartree Centre owns and operates a variety of complex HPC systems, which require skilled administrators to manage them and ensure they are available for use. We are currently adding to our number of systems, including a compute cluster which will be one of the most powerful in the UK.

Responsibilities will include:

  • delivering professional, customer-focused, Level 2 support to users of Hartree Centre services

  • performing routine system administration tasks such as monitoring, tuning, hardware fault detection and resolution

  • implementing configuration changes

  • identifying and implementing areas for process or operational improvement

  • creating and maintaining accurate and complete documentation of procedures and configurations

  • developing and maintaining user documentation

  • undertaking project work, ensuring it is delivered to specification, within budget and on time.

    You will be required to undergo National Security Vetting to SC (Security Check) Level prior to commencing employment. One of the requirements to pass is that you have been living in the UK for a minimum of five years.

You will be expected to provide out-of-hours on call cover (on a shared rota basis). Occasional UK and Overseas travel may be required.

About You

You will have a degree in a scientific or technical subject or demonstrate equivalent relevant experience. An ITIL Foundation or Practitioner accreditation or PRINCE2 Practitioner accreditation is desirable but not essential.

You will be an experienced Systems Administrator, with knowledge of computer hardware, expertise in UNIX/Linux, and the ability to diagnose system faults and analyse problems. You will also have an understanding of Information Security principles and best practice.

You will demonstrate experience or knowledge in some of the following areas:

  • Server provisioning using automation techniques, e.g. Kickstart, PXE Boot

  • configuring and managing HPC workload managers e.g. IBM Platform LSF, SLURM

  • large-scale storage systems, especially performance optimisation

  • parallel filesystems, their configuration and operation - especially IBM Spectrum Scale and Lustre

  • TCP/IP networking design and operation

  • cloud and container technologies e.g. OpenStack, Docker

  • Infiniband fabric design and operation

  • scripting skills in bash, Perl and/or Python

  • computer visualisation hardware and software

  • server virtualisation technologies, especially VMWare

  • Big Data software and systems, especially Hadoop and Spark.

You will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, along with strong organisational, time management and problem solving skills.


An exceptional index linked pension scheme, 30 days leave allowance and flexi-time are offered. A relocation allowance may also be available where applicable. Please visit the STFC careers page for more information.

To Apply

Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role. Please also state where you saw this role advertised.

Applications are handled by UK SBS please note, when you click apply you will be directed through to our website where you will be asked to complete the application process.

The closing date for applications is 29th October 2017; however, we encourage early applications as some candidates may be interviewed before this date.

Required skills

  • Computer Hardware
  • Computing
  • Python
  • System Administration

Reference: 33183408

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