Los Alamos National Laboratory HPC Cluster Administrator (Scientist 2/3) in Los Alamos, New Mexico

Do the most meaningful work of your career

Come join the best and brightest minds in the world at one of the most innovative and creative multidisciplinary research institutions engaged in strategic science on behalf of U.S. national security. The work that we do at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) matters to our country and the world.

Make a difference

At LANL, we’re determined to harness science and imagination to make the world a better and safer place by solving complex problems others can’t. In LANL’s High Performance Computing Division, we are pushing the computing pendulum, designing the future, and empowering scientists across the national laboratory to make an impact. When you’re in charge of making a difference, there’s no limit to what you can do.

Work/Life Balance

Our diverse workforce enjoys a collegial work environment focused on creative problem solving, where everyone’s opinions and ideas are valued. We are committed to work-life balance, as well as both personal and professional growth. We consider our creative and dedicated scientific professionals to be our greatest assets, and we take pride in cultivating their talents, supporting their efforts, and enabling their successes. We provide mentoring to help new staff build a solid technical and professional foundation, and to smoothly integrate into the culture of LANL.

Compensation and Benefits include:

  • Multiple options for work schedules

  • Exercise facility free for staff use

  • Choice of comprehensive medical plans

  • Paid sick time and disability insurance

  • 401k (100% match up to 6% + kicker)

  • Fully vested in 401k on day one

  • Relocation Assistance (if needed)

Los Alamos, New Mexico enjoys excellent weather, clean air, and outstanding public schools. This is a safe, low-crime, family-oriented community with frequent concerts and events as well as quick travel to many top ski resorts, scenic hiking & biking trails, and mountain climbing. The short drive to work includes stunning views of rugged canyons and mesas as well as the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Many employees choose to live in the nearby state capital, Santa Fe, which is known for world-class restaurants, art galleries, and opera.

What You Will Do

High performance computing is a powerful tool that when put into the hands of creative minds is helping humanity solve its hardest problems. Supercomputers help us see structure in the chaos, find signals in the noise, and turn trillions of data points into answers to unlock radical innovation. The High Performance Computing (HPC) Platforms Team provides vanguard system and runtime support for some of the largest and fastest supercomputers in the world, including multi-petaop systems (e.g., the recently deployed 40 Peta operations per second Trinity Supercomputer).

Troubleshooters and problem-solvers at heart, the HPC Platforms Team seeks highly motivated, productive, inquisitive, and multi-talented candidates who are equally comfortable working independently as well as part of a team. The successful applicant will acquire the skills needed to take a leading role in working on all aspects of LANL’s HPC cluster administration. A broad range of expertise and background is desired in the team, and there are multiple projects that a successful candidate can pursue within the production and research disciplines of the team. There are frequent opportunities for collaborative work with scientists and staff within the group (for instance with scientists designing and operating our high-speed networks or data storage infrastructure) or with scientists from other groups, including close collaborative research opportunities with LANL’s Ultrascale Systems Research Center (USRC), to help drive cutting edge advances.

This role requires strong communication skills, as well as comprehensive troubleshooting and analytical skills. Team member duties include: system deployment, configuration, and full system administration of LANL’s world-class compute clusters; evaluating and testing new technology and solutions; diagnosing, solving, and implementing solutions for various system operational problems; system administration of HPC network infrastructure in support of compute clusters; diagnosing, solving, and implementing solutions for various system operational problems;system software management and maintenance, including security posture maintenance; tuning operating systems to increase performance and reliability of services;developing tools to support automation, optimization and monitoring efforts; interacting with vendors; and communicating and collaborating with other groups, teams, projects and sites.

The selected candidate will participate in a regularly scheduled rotation of on-call support of production systems, including some systems under 7x24 hour support. In addition, some non-standard working hours may occasionally be required. This position is full-time and is located at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

This position will be filled at either the Scientist 2 or Scientist 3 level, depending upon the skills of the selected candidate. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if the candidate is hired at the higher level.

Scientist 2 ($87,800-$144,800)

  • Participate in periodic on‐call responsibilities.

  • Work both independently and collaboratively with other system administrators, as well as under the supervision and guidance of senior HPC system administrators to provide technical assistance in problem solving, configuration management, and day-to-day operation of various supercomputing systems.

  • Troubleshoot, diagnose root cause, and isolate the components / failure scenarios while working with internal & external stakeholders.

  • Participate in process improvement, including deep multi‐system problem isolation and resolution often in collaboration with administrators of other HPC subsystems.

  • Develop and publish updates on resolutions and communicate findings internally.

  • Work with team members to make modifications and additions to existing code, methods and procedures.

  • Work with team to bring up new hardware and test functionality.

  • Work with team members and vendors to document, design, and implement new ideas and approaches for newer system administration and configuration tools and strategies and improve those for existing ones.

  • Present best practices, experience reports, and/or research results to managers and to peers locally or at conferences.

Scientist 3 ($96,600-$161,300)

In addition to the duties outlined above, a successful Scientist 3 candidate will be required to:

  • Work as a technical leader/subject matter expert to propose and implement solutions to current problems and future deficiencies in our HPC networking environment in conjunction with junior and senior administrators and technical staff within and across teams.

  • Proactively create experiments and tooling to validate solutions and to detect and diagnose network and hardware health issues.

  • Analyze published research papers in the area of networking and high-speed interconnects, summarize, and share implications and connections to ongoing work with team members.

  • Interact and/or collaborate with people from other teams, groups, divisions, directorates, and programs to develop, implement, and/or communicate technical solutions.

  • Mentor junior technical staff and students.

  • Present best practices and research results to national peers at conferences, workshops, and meetings, as well as participate in national strategic partnerships.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Demonstrated experience with and broad knowledge of administration of production Linux computer systems, utilities, and tools, including experience building, configuring, and administering production Linux computer systems.

  • Demonstrated scripting (e.g., in Bash, Perl, Python, or similar scripting languages) and programming experience.

  • Strong command line Linux operating system skills.

  • Demonstrated experience with Cfengine, Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Salt, or similar configuration and automation tools and practices.

  • Working Knowledge of networking concepts and practices.

  • Knowledge of or experience with hardware and software security practices.

  • Ability to mentor and lead individual junior team members and students.

  • Working knowledge of or demonstrated experience with best practices for network security and system hardware and software hardening.

  • Ability to acquire and maintain a DOE Q-level clearance.

Additional Job Requirements for Scientist 3:

In addition to the Job Requirements outlined above, qualification at the Scientist 3 level requires:

  • Broad demonstrated knowledge of production HPC system management topics, including networking, programming, file systems, operating systems, and configuration management, with depth in one or more areas.

  • Knowledge of High Performance Computing system design.

  • Knowledge of implementation and complexity of common programming data structures and algorithms.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and mentor teams, students, or junior team members.

  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, design, and lead projects.

  • Demonstrated ability to evaluate competing HPC subsystem technologies.

  • Ability to analyze published research papers in the area of HPC system administration and configuration, summarize research results, and share implications and connections to ongoing work with team members.

  • Experience interacting with vendors and colleagues within the industry, including ability to present technical papers and/or technical work to peers locally and nationally at conferences and meetings.

Desired Skills:

  • Experience working in a production HPC environment.

  • Experience diagnosing system software problems.

  • Knowledge of resource management and job scheduling software (slurm, PBS, Moab, etc.)

  • Experience with networking and fileystems in an HPC environment.

  • Experience with parallel filesystems (Lustre, GPFS, Gluster etc.)

  • Experience with archive solutions (HPSS, TSM, etc.)

  • Experience with object storage solutions.

  • Experience with data movement tools.

  • Experience supporting a scientific user base.

  • Experience working with ticket tracking systems.

  • Experience with multiple Linux distributions.

  • Experience with revision control systems such as RCS, Subversion, or Git.

  • Experience with system observability tools such as perf, strace, tcpdump, and vmstat.

  • Experience modifying Unix/Linux operating systems (e.g., enabling/disabling kernel modules).

  • Practical experience with Splunk or other monitoring tools.

  • Familiarity with database administration.

  • Experience managing computers in a DOE or DOD classified environment.

  • An inquisitive nature

  • Active DOE Q Clearance

Note to Applicants: For consideration, applicants should submit a cover letter addressing how their knowledge, skills and abilities meet the minimum requirements along with a resume.

Education:Minimum of a B.S. degree in Computer Science or a related field from an accredited college or university, or equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.

Where You Will Work

Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

The High Performance Computing (HPC) Division provides production high performance computing systems services to the Laboratory. HPC Division serves all Laboratory programs requiring a world-class high performance computing capability to enable solutions to complex problems of strategic national interest. Our work starts with the early phases of acquisition, development, and production readiness of HPC platforms, and continues through the maintenance and operation of these systems and the facilities in which they are housed. HPC Division also manages the network, parallel file systems, storage, and visualization infrastructure associated with the HPC platforms. The Division directly supports the Laboratory’s HPC user base and aids, at multiple levels, in the effective use of HPC resources to generate science. Additionally, we engage in research activities that we deem important to our mission.

Additional Details:

Clearance: Q(Position will be cleared to this level). Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter.

*Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.

Regular position:Term status Laboratory employees applying for regular-status positions are converted to regular status.

Equal Opportunity:Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regards to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email toapplyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.

Location: Los Alamos, NM, US

Contact Name: Budge, Trevor L.

Organization Name: HPC-SYS/ Computing Operations & Support

Email: tbudge@lanl.gov

Job Title: HPC Cluster Administrator (Scientist 2/3)

Appointment Type: Regular

Req ID: IRC59224