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Current Opportunities

System Administrator, Research IT Infrastructure - Toronto, Ontario

Position: System Administrator, Research IT Infrastructure
Site: MaRS Centre, Toronto
Department: Information Technology
Reports To: Senior Manager
Salary: Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 hours/week
Status: Full-time Permanent

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a Systems Administrator to join the Research IT Infrastructure team.

Core Functions

The System Administrator will be part of a technical team responsible for administering and maintaining services and solutions in any or all of the following areas:

1. High Performance Computing and Advanced Research Computing systems (10,000 compute cores, 6+ Peta Bytes of NAS storage, 10G network); job scheduling; resource queues; application installation and configuration;
2. Virtualization & Cloud Infrastructure (e.g. OpenStack, Ceph, Docker);
3. Core infrastructure services and applications (e.g. DNS, LDAP, NTP, DHCP, MySQL, PostgresSQL, load balancing, backup/restore, Nagios, Confluence, JIRA, Service Desk, CROWD, Email routing, monitoring tools, automation tools, Tomcat, Apache, WordPress);
4. General purpose Linux servers (web, database, application) with the majority virtualized under OpenStack;
5. Data Centre operations;
6. Network (LAN and WAN); all aspects of OICR’s network including data centre, campus, ISP management, IP space management, firewalls, routing, switching, SIEM, logging, auditing, wired and wireless.

The Systems Administrator will ensure that solutions in the assigned areas meet the service level needs of the Institute and meet the Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability requirements as defined by the Institute.

Assist with the implementation of new technologies, the continuous refresh and improvement of existing infrastructure and will deliver on the tasks assigned by the Team Lead and Sr. Manager.


• Install and maintain hardware in OICR on-site data centres;
• Configure, build and maintain servers, storage and network infrastructure;
• Support and maintain Linux operating systems and system applications;
• Support and maintain the High Performance Compute cluster and its associated file systems to ensure it performs to expectations and meets the needs of Researchers;
• Implement automation and configuration management tasks;
• Monitor, respond and ensure that day to day user requests related to server, storage, network and HPC issues; and system maintenance tasks are completed in a timely and accurate manner;
• Enforce security of all systems by monitoring for vulnerabilities, installing security patches, and following best practices for hardening;
• Work with monitoring tools and log files to pro-actively identify problems, and take action in order to avoid service interruptions, and to reduce down time when service disruptions occur;
• Follow best practice procedures and methodologies associated with supporting and operating complex Information Technology infrastructures including Change Management and Problem Management;
• Maintain and update documentation;
• Assist project teams with technical solutions and deployments;
• Assist the IT Help Desk team with Linux user level support issues which they cannot resolve on their own;
• Perform server backup and restore tasks;
• Performs cross-functional and/or other duties consistent with the job classification, as assigned or requested;
• Prevent, identify, assess, and mitigate security vulnerabilities and threats;
• Identify, report, and escalate Information Security and Information Privacy risks, incidents and breaches as per OICR Policies;
• Remain current with technology infrastructure.


• University or College degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering, or related discipline;
• Related technical certifications and professional memberships would be considered an asset.

Experience and Skill Requirements

Must Have:

• Current, hands-on, high level Linux System Administrator, supporting more than 50 production Linux servers, providing web/application/database/research computing services. High level knowledge of Debian and/or Ubuntu. More than 8 years total hands on experience as a Linux or Unix Sys Admin;
High level knowledge of infrastructure services like DNS, Mail, LDAP/AD, and logging;
Ability to work as part of a team;
High level experience using modern, leading edge automation (specifically Ansible) and monitoring tools;
• High level knowledge configuring and operating a large, secure, scalable, highly available server virtualization platform based on technology like OpenStack, VMWare or KVM.

Nice to have, or keen interest in learning:

• Large (500+TB) NAS storage and network experience;
• Ability support and work with containers and orchestration - specifically Docker and Kubernetes;
• Processes and technology for archiving and backing up data to disk, tape, and cloud services like Amazon S3 and Glacier.

The following are considered an asset:

• Experience using and administering a Grid based HPC (eg. Sun Grid Engine, Open Grid Scheduler, Moab, Torque, Univa Grid Engine) environment;
Academic, Research or Health Care sector experience.

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, Innovation and Science.

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

POSTED DATE: Until Filled

OICR is an inclusive employer dedicated to building a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from all qualified candidates and will accommodate applicants’ needs throughout all stages of the recruitment and selection process. Please advise the Recruiter to ensure your accessibility needs are accommodated throughout this process. Information received relating to accommodation will be addressed confidentially.

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

Resume Format: If you elect to apply, you will need a text or HTML version of your resume so that you can cut and paste it into the application box provided. Before you submit the completed application, you will be asked to attach one or two files to your application. Please attach your resume as a .doc file.