Systems Administrator II, Datacenter Support (4910)

Information Technology Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:   


Position Summary  

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a diverse, exciting, and prestigious research facility that plays a vital role in the study of the universe. The Observatory operates a variety of radio telescopes that span the globe, including the famous Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. These telescopes are among the most advanced in the world, allowing astronomers to explore the universe in unprecedented detail.  


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) announces a Datacenter Support Systems Administrator II opportunity in the Data Management and Software Department at the Domenici Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM. The Datacenter Support Systems Administrator II supports access to and updates of NRAO's Science Information Services (SIS) computing systems (web, applications, systems access/access management) at the Domenici Science Operations Center (DSOC) in Socorro, NM. The focus is primarily on datacenter hardware support (examples: racking equipment, replacing disks and tapes, running power and network cables, hardware and software purchasing, power management, and cooling systems).  


What You Will be Doing:  

The duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:  


        General data center installation, maintenance, and repair of PCs, and storage systems as well as a variety of electronic devices.   

        Cable management – Estimating lengths, pulling cables, safely removing old cable, ensuring cable lays are neat and arranged to accommodate future changes.  

        Unpacking, racking, and cabling new servers and other datacenter equipment.  

        Troubleshooting of system defects using a systematic approach.  

        Monitoring and timely replacement of failed server components (e.g., disks, power supplies, RAM)  

        Resolving service requests for standard computer software and hardware support, escalating to other Sysadmins as necessary.  

        Assists in the design and deployment of new technology, software, and systems upgrades.  

        Advises computer users on effective use of systems and general software tools and to ensure awareness and access to current documented and supported services.  

        Proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected.  

        Other duties as assigned.  

Work Environment  

Work is typically performed in an office and lab-based research or development environment. Must be able to operate a personal computer. May occasionally work at high altitudes. Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Ability to lift 50lbs safely. Occasional travel will be required.  


Who You Are:   


        You have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.   

        You have at least two years of relevant experience.  

Competency Summary  

The candidate must demonstrate experience in the following:    

        Familiarity with general data center operations like cooling, power distribution, and raised floor and suspended ceiling spaces.  

        Detail oriented.  

        Self-motivated with great time management skills.  

        Familiarity with remote and local logs, LED indicators, and common symptoms that will help isolate a problem. Should be familiar with industry standards and best practices.  

        Skilled with basic and specialized tools. We use a variety of basic hand and power tools as well as multimeters and network scanners.  

        Communications skills – Should have the ability to communicate well in person, via email, and virtually to ensure the needs of our customers are met. Collaboration with vendors is required for support and requisitioning of equipment.  

        Ability to follow written, verbal, and sometimes ambiguous instructions.  

        Work well as a member of a diverse team of Sysadmins  

        Willingness to travel to other NRAO sites as may be needed  

        General understanding of electricity and electrical safety. Ability to maintain personal safety and equipment safety while working in and around live server racks.  


Desired Experience:  

Experience in the following areas desired:  


        Experience with electro static discharge (ESD) safety procedures.  

        Familiarity with Windows (client and server) and Linux (RedHat, Ubuntu) operating systems and programs.  

        Experience with Dell and Super Micro server hardware.  

        Familiarity with different connectors we employ, e.g. USB, HDMI, DVI, VGA, SAS, RJ45, SC/LC fiber, SFP and QSFP.  

        Experience with Schneider/APC products such as power strips, UPS, and PDUs  

        Experience maintaining and troubleshooting RAID disk arrays (0/1/5/10)   

        Experience processing warranty replacement parts from a variety of vendors  

        Ordering and maintaining inventory for stocked items such as cabling, network appliances, hard drives, RAM, rails, PSUs, etc.  

        Organizing and maintaining physical storage space  



Total Rewards:   


The NRAO offers a comprehensive total rewards package for this position, subject to eligibility requirements. We are committed to serving our employees and their families with an extensive and competitive compensation and benefits package that supports our employees’ overall well-being and career growth.  



The NRAO strives to attract and retain dedicated, highly qualified, competent, and motivated employees by offering competitive compensation and recognition for performance.   


Factors which may affect starting pay may include; education, experience, skills, competencies, other qualifications of the successful candidate, as well as internal equity and labor market conditions  



NRAO’s benefits package addresses the needs of employees and their families with most benefits beginning on the first day of employment. NRAO provides excellent paid time off (13 holidays, annual accrual of up to 24 vacation days and 15 sick days, additional time off for doctor/dentist visits, and 8 weeks of paid parental leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective on the first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay with no required employee contribution; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.  


Application Instructions:   


Select the “Apply” button. Please be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position  


Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:   


AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to [email protected].  



The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)  



The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.