Linux Systems Administrator

Job Location
EMBL-EBI Wellcome Genome Campus
CB10 1SD
United Kingdom

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

Job Description

We are seeking a highly proficient and motivated Linux Systems Administrator to join the Systems Applications team. Located within a beautiful rural research campus in Hinxton, near Cambridge, EMBL-EBI offers a unique opportunity to acquire professional experience in an international scientific environment with access to a wide range of cutting edge technologies.

The Systems Applications team consists of 15 System Administrators responsible for clouds, virtual infrastructures, database administration, operations and desktop services. We are recruiting for a Systems Administrator who will help to form the new operations team, reporting to the Systems Applications team leader. The operations team are working to automate the deployment and ongoing management of Linux VMs across both VMware and OpenStack platforms as well as externally provided cloud environments.

The main responsibilities will include:

  • Development of automation processes to deploy and manage VMs across internal and Cloud infrastructures;
  • Provision, management & security of the RHEL Operating System layer in 1,100 VMs & 100 Linux desktops:

○ Installation & configuration of the Operating System
○ Security & other updates to the operating systems
○ Installation & configuration of software (not user space S/W)
○ Mounting & unmounting of NFS exports
○ User permissions & Sudo management
○ Provide support to EBI users

  •  Support, management & development of software services to EBI’s 550 users:

○ Email (cyrus, sendmail, postfix)
○ Federated Identity (shibboleth)
○ Ticketing system (request tracker)
○ Samba

  •  In collaboration with the Cloud team:

○ Monitoring of server performance
○ Accounting
○ Development & maintenance of server templates
○ Development & maintenance of standard practices

  • Technology evaluations; rapid prototyping;
  • Providing support and documentation to the EMBL-EBI user community and the team;
  • Continuous improvement of our IT infrastructure and support process based on the needs of EMBL-EBI users and stakeholders.



In addition to a degree in computer science or a related subject, the successful candidate must have at least 5 years professional experience working within a medium to large sized heterogeneous IT environment. Previous systems administration experience including open source software, data centre virtualisation, networking, cloud computing and database systems experience are highly desirable.

You must have a professional Linux system administration background, good Perl/Python/Shell scripting skills and strong capabilities to integrate, automate, monitor and troubleshoot a heterogeneous IT environment using standard technologies. The ideal candidate will have a service oriented attitude, be well-organised and able to work to tight deadlines. Good interpersonal and communication skills and excellent working knowledge of English are required to succeed in this job.

Preferably you will have been exposed to using technologies such as RT, VMware, OpenStack, Puppet, Shibboleth, Nagios, and protocols SMTP, IMAP & LDAP. Systems administration work to support a database team running Oracle, MySQL or Postgres would be beneficial.

Working in a friendly and fast paced environment you should be able to efficiently manage your time. You will possess excellent organisational skills, and the ability to prioritise and manage tasks effectively, whilst working flexibly and independently as necessary.

It is paramount that any candidate has exceptional problem solving skills and works well within a small team and on their own. This role requires interaction with users of all technical abilities so good customer facing skills are essential.

How to Apply

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system at 

About Our Organization

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 22 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

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