Postion Summary:
The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Senior Systems Administrator

Key Responsibilities:

  • Administer IT Operation in Cape Town campus, as well as support of remote office
  • Standby support one week per month for after hours and Sutherland
  • Manage ticketing queue for internal IT related issues ensuring timely and accurate troubleshooting of issues
  • Ensure the security of data, network access and license management
  • Maintain assets, information security and other relevant IT infrastructure
  • Troubleshoot and resolve IT issued software and hardware in a timely manner
  • Install, troubleshoot and maintain hardware and peripheral components
  • Oversee network and system infrastructure to ensure optimal performance
  • Assistance with various IT projects such as procurement, documentation, and reconciliation of IT systems
  • Work with external vendors to resolve all maintenance issues around the office space

Minimum Qualification:

  • Diploma / Advanced Certificate / NQF 6

Minimum Experience:

  • 6-6 years
  • Degree in Computer Science , National Diploma in IT or equivalent qualification
  • Drivers Licence (Code B or similar)


  • 6 years’ of proven Linux systems administration or similar experience with at least 3 years in a production environment
  • Experience with troubleshooting, setting up, and managing macOS, Windows and Linux machinesExperience with working in a cloud environment
  • Experience with the setup, managing and documentation of WAN and LANExperience with server cluster setupsExperience with working with 3rd party vendors for software/hardware procurement
  • Experience with VPN server and client configuration (across different platforms), IP Phones (SIP), printer configurations, configuring and troubleshooting cloud based Office 365 Suite
  • Experience with LDAP or Active directory, Docker, instant messaging services, Proxmox or VMWare, third-party cloud providers, SSO, SSH
  • Experience in monitoring and management of large, complex systems using Nagios (check_mk), Zabbix or PrometheusExperience with mikrotik, PFSense or Fortigate firewalls


  • LAMP, WordPress or Joomla(CMS)
  • Web Control PanelsMySQL, MS SQL or Postgresql databaseVirtualizationEmail systems

Additional Notes:
ADDITIONAL EDUCATION, WORK EXPERIENCE & PERSONAL QUALITIES:Strong interpersonal and communication [URL Removed] to detail, ability to see a task through to completion, passion for excellent client service, self-motivated, able to work unsupervised, curious, persistent, [URL Removed] to solve problems quickly and automate [URL Removed] troubleshooting of technical problems as well as solving of more complex software and hardware [URL Removed] with the principles and practice of system configuration managementA solid understanding of an operating system; understanding of paging and swapping, inter-process communications, devices and what device drivers do, filesystem concepts (inodes, clustering, logical partitions), ability to use performance analysis to tune systemsA solid understanding of networking. Routing and switching.A solid understanding of storage systemsAbility to program in a scripting language (e.g., Bash, Perl, Python, VBScript, PowerShell)Works well alone or on a teamA , Net , Sec is a plusTechnical certification (e.g: Microsoft certification, Linux certification, other professional qualifications)The filling of this position will be in line with the NRF’s Employment Equity Policy and [URL Removed] salary will be commensurate with qualifications and [URL Removed] NRF website provides more details on the initiatives and activities Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by registering and apply online through the NRF Recruitment and Selection Portal. Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicantĀ·s suitability for the position. The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided.

Desired Skills:

  • Skilled in applied field of position
  • Knowledge to be relevant
  • Responsible in performing duties

About The Employer:

The National Research Foundation (NRF) supports and promotes research and human capital development through funding, the provision of National Research Facilities and science outreach platforms and programmes to the broader community in all fields of science and technology, including natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities. The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the National Facility for Optical and Infrared Astronomy of the National Research Foundation (NRF). Its headquarters are in Cape Town, while its telescopes are at Sutherland in the Northern Cape. Distributed between the two sites, SAAO employs about 130 people, many of them scientists and engineers, and is contracted to operate SALT (the Southern African Large Telescope) on behalf of the international SALT Foundation. SAAO is the premier optical/infrared research facility on the African continent, with global research and outreach collaborations, contributing to SET human capital development for South Africa

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