System Administrator
  • Expertise
  • Section
    Business Support & Services
  • Hours
  • Closing date

Are you a flexible, accurate administrator and a team player? Your second home is your Linux server park? You are familiar with high performance system administration in combination with large data volumes and want to work in a dynamic international scientific environment? Then you might be our new

System Administrator

Job description:

As a system administrator, you will work within the Business Support & Services, in the Finance, ICT and Facilities group on the hardware infrastructure of the LOFAR and WSRT (Westerbork) telescopes. LOFAR is a unique radio telescope that consists of antenna stations spread over Europe connected by a high speed network to a central processing facility. At this location a GPU-based cluster reduces the data real-time and an HPC compute cluster of 50 multi-core nodes processes the data on a multi-petabyte Lustre filesystem. The system generates six petabytes of science data-products each year that are made available to the astronomical community via a distributed archive.

You strive to provide excellent service to our scientific clients by maintaining stable and efficient server operation and delivering them the data they need for their research. You will collaborate with scientists at ASTRON and at European universities and with specialists at some of the top HPC institutes in Europe to build towards the next generation of scientific data services. These services are centered around our fast growing distributed data stores of LOFAR and WSRT, currently totaling more than 24 PB. Together with the administrators in all ASTRON departments, and the compute center (CIT) from the University of Groningen, you will enhance the overall performance and reliability of the system and prepare it for future developments.

As a system administrator your main focus is:

  • Engineering of systems administration-related solutions for various project and operational needs
  • Proactively monitoring system performance and capacity planning
  • Administration of database clusters and storage solutions
  • Support and administration of various development infrastructure tools
  • Provide input on ways to improve the stability, security, efficiency, and scalability of the environment

Job requirements:

  • A BSc degree in Computer Science or a related technical discipline (WO/HBO)
  • Proven experience with Linux based server infrastructure
  • Experience in the following fields is a big pre: HPC GPU based cluster, working in data centers, state-of-the art technologies like Kubernetes/Docker, Virtualization Technology: VMware, KVM, OpenStack/OpenShift, automated infrastructure configuration and provisioning with Cobbler, Spacewalk, Ansible
  • Affinity for complex technological environments & research supporting organizations
  • Good problem solving capabilities
  • Have a customer oriented attitude; serve the scientific community
  • Team player, but also good at taking the initiative, based on your specialism.


The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement Research Institutions (“CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen”). We offer:

  • A fulltime contract in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of two years. Based on good performance the temporary contract can be converted into an indefinite contract.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8,33% of the gross annual salary
  • A solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • 42 holidays per year on a full time basis
  • Flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation.
  • Generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation.
  • Visit our website for detailed information on fringe benefits

The organization:

ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside Dwingeloo in Drenthe. Its mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen via the development of novel and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research.

ASTRON is a major partner in the worldwide collaboration working towards the realization of the future Square Kilometre Array telescope.


More information about ASTRON can be found on our website and More information about this vacancy please contact Erika Timmerman, HR Officer, e-mail:

You can apply for this job via the ‘Apply now’ button below by sending your motivation and curriculum vitae. The closing date is October 23, 2020. The first round of interviews will be held on Thursday November 5, 2020.


Word of a staff member
Jurjen Sluman

Voordat ik bij ASTRON kwam te werken, werkte ik bij een hoogwaardig technisch bedrijf. Hierna wilde ik weer werken in een soortgelijke en uitdagende werkomgeving. Zo kwam ik bij ASTRON terecht, hier heb ik te maken met een uitdagende en hoogstaande technische omgeving. Dit op zowel het gebied van hard- als software. Het onderzoek aan […]

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