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Linux Systems Administrator - Toronto, Ontario

Position:  Linux Systems Administrator
Site:   MaRS Centre
Department:  Informatics & Bio-computing 
Reports To:  Manager, Research IT Infrastructure, Infrastructure Architect
Salary:  Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 Hrs/week
Status:  Permanent, Full-time
Vacancies: 2 Positions 

The Research IT Infrastructure team within the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a Linux Systems Administrator to perform day to day Linux/Unix system administration duties in the support and management of a large computing infrastructure consisting of an 8,000 Intel core Linux cluster, 500+ misc servers (primarily virtualized), and 4+PetaBytes of high performance NAS/SAN storage.  These systems provide OICR Researchers and Collaborators across Ontario a HPC (High Performance Computing) infrastructure, as well as the infrastructure for a large number of Linux based web/app/db servers (internal and external facing).  The successful candidate will have a desire for continual learning, be a team player, and have the right combination of education, and demonstrated experience supporting and managing similar infrastructure, with the ability to ensure the infrastructure operates with the appropriate balance of performance, availability, and security.

The responsibilities include:

  • Working with direction from the Manager, ensure that day to day user requests related to server, storage and network issues, and system maintenance tasks are completed in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Monitor and respond to user requests – account creation, software installation on servers, etc.
  • Ensure that all tasks performed maintain the security and reliability of the systems.
  • Work with monitoring tools and log files to proactively identify problems, and take action in order to avoid service interruptions, and to reduce down time when service disruptions occur.
  • Perform system administration tasks on a high performance computing cluster and it’s associated file systems.
  • Follow best practice procedures and methodologies associated to supporting and operating complex Information Technology infrastructures including Change Management and Problem Management.
  • Maintain and update documentation.
  • Assist the IT Help Desk team with Linux/Unix user level support issues which they cannot resolve on their own.
  • Perform server backup and restore tasks.
  • This position will participate in an on-call rotation for providing after hours/weekend support.
  • As with all IT positions, this position will require occasional after hours/weekend work.
  • This position will require carrying a mobility device (ex. BlackBerry), provided by OICR.
  • Works in compliance of the Occupational Health & Safety Act and its regulations, reporting hazards, deficiencies and contravention’s of the Act, in a timely manner.


  • At minimum, completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Engineering Technology or recognized equivalent required.
  • At minimum, over 4 years up to and including 6 years practical and related experience
  • A minimum of 4 years experience in Unix/Linux system administration.
  • The ability to create user accounts, edit file permissions, install software, apply patches, update kernel, monitor and comprehend log files, create/edit LDAP entities, in a Unix environment.
  • Ability to maintain and create basic Unix scripts.
  • Understanding of Sun Grid Engine or equivalent.
  • Understanding of infrastructure applications such as DNS, BIND, NFS, Sendmail/Postfix or similar.
  • Understanding of common protocols such as TCP/IP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, SNMP.
  • Server and storage hardware experience – installing, upgrading, maintaining.
  • Experience using a large data backup system and the ability to perform system and file level backup and restore.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • The ability to work well in a team environment.
  • A high level of pride in your work.
  • Experience supporting HPC and Researchers an asset
  • Experience with large (larger than 500TB) SAN/NAS technology, preferably Isilon, BlueArc, or NetApp, Debian Linux, Cisco and Procurve switches, routers, firewalls, CommVault backup software an asset.
  • Experience using, maintaining, and supporting the following applications, tools and databases: MySQL, Postgres, Apache, cvs, svn, MediaWiki, Confluence, Jira, Drupal, Request Tracker, Nagios, Cacti will be considered an asset.
  • Experience with Openstack.

OICR is an innovative cancer research institute located in the MaRS Centre in the Discovery District in downtown Toronto. OICR is addressing significant challenges in cancer research with multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional teams. New discoveries to prevent, detect and treat cancer will be moved from the bench to practical applications in patients. The OICR team is growing quickly. We are innovative, dedicated professionals who bring expertise to each of our roles. We are looking for individuals interested in being part of a culture of excellence that will result in Ontario being recognized internationally as a leading jurisdiction for cancer research.

Launched in December 2005, OICR is an independent institute funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

For more information about OICR, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.

POSTED DATE: June 17, 2014
CLOSING DATE: Posted until filled 

OICR has a diverse workforce and is an equal opportunity employer.

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research thanks all applicants. However, only those under consideration will be contacted. 
Resume Format: 
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