Linux Administrator HPC

Newcastle Upon Tyne
£38300 - £45000 per annum
12 Apr 2017
12 May 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Linux Administrator (HPC)
£40,000 - 45,000 plus (negotiable for right candidate)

An interesting role has arisen for a HPC Linux Administrator.


Based within the Infrastructure Systems Team, you will be technical and organisationally proficient enough to provide hands-on support, administration, and implementation of my clients centralised HPC infrastructure. This is a varied and exciting role requiring you to set technical direction of HPC to meet the needs of the client. Forming effective collaborative relationships across the IT teams and customers will be essential. You will support and consolidate existing HPC infrastructure and advise on up and coming HPC technologies which may provide benefit to the University. You will have experience of implementing and maintaining HPC hardware, software and be familiar with batch processing and queue management.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide systems administration support for University High Performance Computing (HPC) services ensuring that they meet the needs of users.
  • Perform cluster node installation and deployment using automation
  • Perform operating system installation, tuning and patching
  • System monitoring
  • Reset/reboot hung nodes
  • Initiate hardware problem reports
  • First-level hardware trouble-shooting of computational nodes - swapping DIMMS, disks
  • Configure and verify server operation including the configuration of network and storage connections
  • Install commercial software and license managers for commercial software
  • Build and install open source software packages
  • Install and tune compiler and utility software
  • Coordinate with vendors to resolve hardware and software problems
  • Document system administration procedures for routine and complex tasks
  • Advise on and carry out technology refresh in relation to HPC Infrastructure

Key Competencies

Engagement of Partners and team members at all levels of the organisation

  • Able to accomplish results through others, particularly by establishing relationships, effective controls, monitoring processes and structure
  • Strong collaboration negotiation and influencing skills
  • Able to manage conflict resolution when Business and IT demands cannot simply be reconciled - such resolution would involve complex professional relationships up to and include the Senior Stakeholders
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with the ability to articulate complex ideas in easy to understand business terms to senior leaders
  • Engagement of Partners and team members at all levels of the organisation

Person Specification Knowledge (Inc. qualifications) Essential

  • Graduate or have an equivalent professional qualification, and to have substantial practical technical knowledge relevant to their duties;
  • In the case that professional qualifications for any relevant technical area exist, possess these or equivalent knowledge.
  • The post-holder will be expected to maintain and develop their knowledge by independent reading/research/investigations and through formal training programmes and qualification as and when required.
  • A practical understanding HPC technology, hardware, and related networking.


  • Applicable professional qualification or computational/HPC-oriented UG/PG degree

Skills (professional, technical, managerial, practical) Essential

  • Excellent team working skills;
  • Able to work on own initiative, prioritise work and meet deadlines;
  • Commitment to providing high quality, highly available services;
  • Ability to communicate effectively with customers at all levels of the University to provide 3rd line support and consultation on requirements;
  • A robust approach to planning, developing, testing, documenting and implementing IT systems.


  • Special skills such as negotiation, diplomacy and remaining calm under difficult situations;
  • Manual handling skills for the installation of servers.

Experience and Achievements (paid or unpaid) Essential

  • Significant recent and practical Systems Administrator experience at an enterprise or HPC level of one of more of the following Linux operating systems: Redhat; CentOS; Debian/Ubuntu.
  • Broad based foundation of IT skills;
  • Demonstrate experience of managing HPC systems;
  • Use of scripting to automate server management;
  • Experience in implementing large HPC clusters;
  • Hands on experience of managing HPC queues and batch processing;
  • Proven experience in troubleshooting HPC issues;


  • Demonstrate experience of managing HPC systems;
  • Demonstrate some experience of Windows infrastructure (e.g. Active Directory, Windows Server 2008 and 2012);
  • Demonstrate some experience or knowledge of cloud computing services related to HPC.
  • Installation of commercial applications in an HPC environment (e.g. Intel Compiler Suite; MATLAB Distributed Computing Service; FLUENT; ABAQUS)
  • Practical system administration experience of some or all of the following technologies: System Monitoring (e.g., Linux-HA, Heartbeat), Configuration Management (e.g. Puppet);
  • Experience of enterprise storage technology (e.g. SAN, Fibre Channel, iSCSI);
  • Experience of working within an enterprise or academic research environment.

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