Director of Cloud Operations

May 16, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: The Center for Data Intensive Science at the University of Chicago is a research center pioneering translational data science to advance biology, medicine, and environmental research. Data driven research approaches require interdisciplinary innovation in computing technology, algorithms, and statistical models. The growing volume of data available necessitates advances in the sophistication of these methods. Our work centers around developing instruments to integrate commons of complex data with cloud computing technology. We architect large scale commons of research data, computing resources, applications, tools, services. Our guiding principles center around open data, open-source software, and open infrastructure. Through this approach, we can more effectively use data at scale to study and pursue scientific inquiry in the areas of biology, medicine, healthcare, and the environment. We are leaders in data sharing, democratizing access for the broader research community and accelerating discovery. Our leadership emerged with the launch of the first open-source cloud-based computational research platform recognized as an NIH Trusted Partner, achieving rigorous data quality and data management service requirements. Today we offer over seven petabytes of rich research data through the following data commons platforms: - NCI Genomic Data Commons - Bionimbus Protected Data Cloud - Blood Profiling Atlas for Cancer - OCC Environmental Data Commons - Open Science Data Cloud We are based in Chicago, but our work engages collaborators from across the world.

Unit Job Summary: The Director of Operations is responsible for leading the team that is developing and maintaining the storage, compute and networking infrastructure for the Genomic Data Commons (GDC), the Bionimbus Protected Data Cloud (PDC) and related projects. You will provide leadership, direction, and hands-on management for the strategic planning, evaluation, design, implementation, and support of the hardware, software, systems, security and related network infrastructure. You will oversee the day-to-day operations, administer the overall policies, goals and objectives for the entire infrastructure multiple projects. You will address user requests and achieve and maintain high levels of customer service and satisfaction. You will ensure compliance with all security policies and procedures. You will oversee automated deployments, service monitoring, metric capture/reporting and ensure transparency within all environments. You will be expected to devise or modify procedures to solve complex problems and work at a high technical level in all phases of systems and network administration activities. You will lead initiatives across functional areas to execute, test, and roll out project-specific solutions. Responsible for effective provisioning, automation, installation/configuration, operation, security and maintenance of systems hardware, software and related network infrastructure for use by all external and internal users. Participate in technical development to enable continuing innovation within the infrastructure. Ensure that system hardware, operating systems, software systems, security posture and related procedures adhere to organizational values and enable the research of faculty, staff, collaborators and all end-users. Lead the team in developing best practices for deployment (e.g. HA, DR, automation, metrics reporting) and maintenance (e.g. expanding file-system, cluster recovery, system updates, etc.) Makes decisions regarding where and how to scale systems. Work closely with the leadership and scientific personnel to ensure the technical operations are consistent with scientific and organizational objectives, deliverables, and information assurance best practices. Principally responsible for understanding and implementation of user requirements and ensuring the systems meet user expectations. Prepare reports, presentations and other strategic planning documents. Responsible for supervision of technical staff, including assigning tasks, oversight of each team member's performance and providing leadership, training and support to move projects forward. Understand skill requirements demanded by future systems, assess current skill levels and plan staff development. Keep abreast of industry trends and new IS technologies and recommend potential solutions based on the latest technical developments. Lead procurement process of new equipment with vendors and University business units ensuring compliance with appropriate procurement practices. This at-will position is wholly or partially funded by contractual grant funding which is renewed under provisions set by the grantor of the contract. Employment will be contingent upon the continued receipt of these grant funds and satisfactory job performance.

Unit Education: Bachelor's degree or higher in engineering, computer science, or related field required. Advanced degree in mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, or a related field preferred.

Unit Experience: A minimum of five years of experience providing system administration with increasing technical and service responsibility required. A minimum of three years of experience of direct supervision over staff required. Hannds-on experience managing GNU/Linux servers required. Project management and implementation experience required. Knowledge of systems administration tools and languages, and shell scripts required. Experience drafting reports, diagrams and documentation describing systems and procedures required. Experience standing up and managing on-premise infrastructure and commercial clouds required. Experience with service monitoring and log aggregation required. Experience running open-source technology based infrastructures, specifically virtual environments (e.g., OpenStack, Docker) preferred. Experience enforcing and monitoring strong network and system security policies and using information security scanning tools (Qualys, Nessus, QRadar, Bro) preferred. Experience managing the deployment of systems at scale using Linux automatic installers (e.g. Puppet, Jenkins, Chef) preferred. Practical experience and familiarity with system administration issues in supporting a database servers (PostgreSQL, MongoDB) preferred. Experience with datacenter operations preferred. Technical experience administering an operating systems, software, middleware components, client server interactions, and internal and external technical support preferred. Experience with scripting and task automation preferred.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Expertise with system administration issues in a large and complex client server environment required. Knowledge of configuration and management of clusters at scale required. Knowledge of backup technology and other monitoring and automated systems management technologies preferred. Knowledge of integration and management issues in a heterogeneous computing environment preferred. Outstanding deductive and investigative skills to identify and diagnose complex, non-intuitive technical problems preferred. Ability to apply in-depth knowledge and experience of internal or external business issues to improve products or services preferred. Ability to take a new perspective using existing solutions preferred. Ability to learn new procedures, techniques, and approaches quickly preferred. Ability to effectively assist and train members of all levels of ability preferred. Integrity and credibility to work with sensitive data preferred. Considerable proficiency in desktop computer software use in both Windows and Macintosh environments preferred. Familiarity with integration and management issues in a heterogeneous computing environment preferred. Technical knowledge of current software protocols and Internet standards preferred. In-depth understanding of IT architectural frameworks, development methodologies, tools, and techniques preferred. Excellent supervisory and staff management skills preferred. Strong and effective oral and written communication skills preferred. Ability to facilitate technical discussions preferred. Ability to relate business issues to technology, and vice versa required. Ability to accurately monitor project progress, to keep track of effort and funds expended and committed, and to anticipate at an early stage any need for changes in project direction, scope, objectives, funding, or timeline required. Broad familiarity with numerous information technology disciplines required. Knowledge of installation, management and use of software such as compilers, scientific applications and job resource managers preferred. Knowledge of parallel and cluster file systems preferred. Familiarity with personnel, accounting, financial concepts preferred.

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