Foundation system

SAPRI Senior IT Systems Administrator at NRF National Research Foundation

Job summary:
This key team member will lead the formulation and implementation of system-wide policies to maximize system effectiveness and ISO 14721 compliance, and be responsible for ensuring system security. and information residing there. He/she will also assist the team leader in the selection and implementation of support for data ingestion, storage and dissemination protocols. Their primary focus will be SAPRI and marine infrastructure, but they will support SAEON-wide systems administration.

Main responsibilities:

  • Provide the highest reliability (uptime) and service responsiveness in Linux and LAN servers
  • Implement monitoring software to warn of impending infrastructure issues and take appropriate corrective action
  • Ensure adequate provision of backup and failover facilities
  • Testing backups according to industry best practices
  • Select, purchase, and install hardware and software to improve the reliability, responsiveness, and scientific utility of Linux systems
  • Provide sound technical guidance on configuration and support of system components and services
  • Lead forward planning and contribute to SAEON, SAPRI and other research infrastructure roadmaps
  • Maintain a master plan of infrastructure and configurations
  • Work with SAEON Systems Coordinator to ensure LIVE and TEST copies of all major systems are maintained, available and under configuration control
  • Proactively manage these systems and design them for future needs with the assistance of the information management team
  • Maintain business continuity information on one or more designated external servers to facilitate disaster recovery
  • Ensure system logs are monitored and anomalies are detected and addressed in a timely manner
  • Provide regular reports to team leaders and senior management on system status
  • Work with SAEON Network Engineer to ensure policy compliance and security
  • Lead and assist in the development of information systems policies and their implementation
  • Provide support to scientists using the system, especially ocean modellers
  • Develop standard procedures and document the knowledge required for the transfer of tasks to an external party

Minimum qualification:

  • Baccalaureate / Advanced diploma / CNC 7

Minimum experience:

  • A minimum of a BSc in Computer Science and 5 years of relevant experience, or a BSc or Diploma in Computer Science with 5 years of relevant experience and at least 5 years of work experience in a relevant field
  • Linux system administration – essential: Familiarity with building, configuring and deploying RHEL or Fedora or CentOS systems
  • Familiarity with other distributions such as Ubuntu, an asset
  • Familiarity with network configuration and administration, including BIND and DHCP
  • Knowledge and experience of managing secure system firewalls


  • Experience installing and debugging, and occasionally building from source, a variety of software packages required to support the assignment
  • Experience with make, yum, rpm
  • Experience implementing on-premises virtualization (e
  • g
  • Proxmox, kvm)
  • Experience with XML, HTML and Web servers – Apache, Tomcat; creation of websites and web pages
  • Experience implementing and managing a wiki (Twiki or similar)


  • Knowledge of security best practices of common systems and packages (ossec, Nagios, tripwire) and ability to implement them
  • UNIX shell scripts – bash, sh, csh, cron and similar utilities

Additional notes:
Ability to contribute to the development and implementation of a backup and failover policy [URL Removed] The NRF website provides more details on initiatives and activities
Applicants must submit a full CV by registering and applying online through the NRF Recruitment and Selection Portal.
Applications should be accompanied by a cover letter indicating the candidate’s suitability for the position.
The names and contact details of at least three arbitrators must be provided.

Desired skills:

  • Skills in the field of application of the position
  • Knowledge to be relevant
  • Responsible in the performance of duties

About the employer:

The South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) is a research platform funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
SAEON is mandated to establish and manage long-term environmental observatories; maintaining reliable long-term environmental datasets; promote access to data for research and/or informed decision-making; and contribute to capacity building. This position is supported by DSI’s South African Polar Research Infrastructure (SAPRI) program.

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