Department: IT Admin Sys Identity Svcs Salary/Grade: ITS/80
The Senior Systems Administrator completes efforts and projects related to the design, installation, operation, support, upgrades and maintenance of infrastructure, including software, servers, networking and storage. Administers, maintains and supports complex and critical infrastructure. Provides user support for server hosting requests, problem resolution, system changes and upgrades. Analyzes infrastructure performance and resolves problems or makes appropriate recommendations. Ensures that all aspects of operability are delivered as part of the implementation process while also ensuring that existing service level is maintained or improved. Contributes to and ensures full compliance to operational standards, procedures and best practices.
This role is focused on IT automation of both on premise and cloud based environments.
Leads planning, development, and coordination of operations and projects for current and future infrastructures.
Anticipates impact of growth and changes in operations, and recommends design and/or process changes.
Participates in disaster recovery/business continuity planning including backup and recovery procedures and higher availability configurations.
Provides recommendations regarding infrastructure planning, automation, and self-service enablement for our application, development, and user community
Demonstrates ability to contribute to and help set objectives, measures and metrics, financial feasibility, and constructively participate in collaborative opportunities with other internal and external organizations
Serves as project liaison – implementations or upgrades, acts as the focal point for communications between Cyberinfrastructure team and the Project Leader.
Facilitates coordination and a thorough understanding of requirements, attends project meetings, creates written meeting notes, creates appropriate ticketing, etc.
Maintains policies and standard procedures to increase system uptime.
Identifies training needs and keeps current on application technologies.
Monitors security alerts and ensures that appropriate patches are applied in an automated and timely fashion; works with developers to patch or upgrade custom code for security compliance.
Documents and maintains system standards; researches and recommends innovative approaches for system administration tasks.
Monitors application performance on servers.
Evaluates and manages appropriate software and hardware allocations to achieve an optimum performance level.
Performs capacity planning for projecting future growth.
In collaboration with development project teams, builds, rebuilds, and/or updates servers and configures hardware and virtual machines (VM), applications, peripherals, services, networking, storage.
Performs infrastructure upgrades including planning and scheduling, testing, and coordination
Automates technical procedures
Leads troubleshooting of application, operating system(s) server hardware, network communications and storage problems within infrastructure.
Provides a second level of support; leads service incident and problem resolution efforts to support entrusted applications/products.
Provides user support on deployed servers.
Consults on best practices to users.
Provides data and metrics to support sizing requirements and performance tuning decisions. Participate in related decision processes with managers and leads.
Provides work direction and/or supervises staff such as team members, subordinates, contractors, vendors, students, etc.
Recommends staff hires/terminations.
Coaches and mentors peers
Manages projects ensuring timelines and deliverables are met and meet expectations.
Seeks ways to actively engage with Northwestern Colleagues & Customers
Consults, Identifies, implements, and communicates short and long-term strategies and plans to meet customer needs
Builds relationships and cultivates professional networks within the University.
Adequately documents and oversees documentation of any changes made to supported University IT Systems in accordance with best practices
Other duties as assigned.
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in a major such as computer science, information technology, or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
4 years system administration or other relevant experience required.
Experience in the following:
Infrastructure: active directory design, administration, Amazon Web Services (AWS), EMC SAN Admin, Linux Operating System, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Outlook), OpenStack/Cloudstack, Puppet/Chef/Ansible, Server hardware, Veeam Backup and Recover, VMware vSphere, Windows Operating System
Programming Languages and Frameworks: Perl, Python, Shell Scripting, VI
Analytical: critical thinking, decision making, judgment, problem solving, Troubleshooting
Project: collaboration and teamwork, organizational skills, planning, write proposals
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Proficient installing, configuring, supporting complex Linux infrastructure environments.
Customer focus and ability to understand customer needs
Thorough knowledge of general application architecture, infrastructure, and identity management technologies
Strong oral and written and communication skills.
Ability to coordinate the activities of a diverse set of IT resources in a matrix environment, while performing multiple roles of server and application support, providing technical consultation and project coordination
Proven ability to prioritize, organize, and multi-task in a fast paced environment
Proven collaboration & team work abilities; proven initiative, established professionalism and proficiency, basic project management experience, technical documentation skills
Experience installing, configuring, supporting complex Windows server based infrastructure environments
Proficient with MS Excel, Word and Visio.
Effective Decision Making
Proven Analytical and conceptual Ability
Ability to influence teams, peers, managers, and build productive working relationships across the organization while dealing with ambiguity.
Experience with current industry best practices and standards for Infrastructure management methodology and techniques.
Understanding of scripting languages such as python, PowerShell, terraform, and BASH in the context of infrastructure-as-code.
Experience with public cloud frameworks such as AWS, Azure, or GCP (IAAS and PAAS)
Awareness of best practices for how to deliver self-service amenities to a user community
Good knowledge of VMWARE or other virtualization based technologies
Self-motivated and can get things done in an ever-changing environment with many priorities
Broad knowledge of Information Technology (Infrastructure, Development, Applications)
Preferred Qualifications: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
2 years Implementing Infrastructure-as-code or other relevant experience.
2 – 6 years’ experience working with large scale 3 tier environments(20 + servers; web server, app server, database)
4 years systems administration or equivalent experience
Advanced technical training with Linux and Windows
4 years system administration or equivalent experience
4-6 years administration experience with primarily Linux server O/S
Proven experience to quickly troubleshoot and fix difficult technical problems
4 years of progressively responsible experience installing, supporting and managing application software and related hardware and software infrastructure
Technical ability and acumen to translate business requirements to technical requirements.
Application development experience
Proven experience delivering valid technical solutions that meet business requirements
Experience supporting the following: operating systems (Linux, Windows, Solaris, Mac), backup technologies, storage infrastructure, virtual server infrastructure, database technologies, server and desktop platforms. Experience / knowledge of networking technology configurations, and troubleshooting
Experience with large scale three tier applications.
Advanced experience with MS Excel, Word, and Visio
Experience with an organized, well documented approach to project managing large projects.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Strong trouble shooting skills with the ability to understand an environment and how to troubleshoot at the environment level (network, hardware, application, database, etc.)
Ability to lead teams of individuals who are not direct reports to deliver successful results and solutions.
Knowledge of industry-standard best practices for IT support (e.g., ITIL) change control, project management, and software development
Advanced planning and organizational skills
Negotiation and conflict management abilities, advanced communication and organizational skills
Some business analysis experience
Ability to explain complex technical information to technical and non-technical contacts
Effectively builds relationships, promotes a collaborative environment, and influences others positively
Demonstrates logic, rationality and objectivity; shows common sense; uses all available information to make educated decisions.
“Leadership Presentation level” oral and written communication skills
Advanced interpersonal skills. Capable of engaging others, excellent “listening” skills
Ability to adapt own communication to colleagues of varying communication styles
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 36672
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.