HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 20-51
Opening date: July, 15 2020
Closing date: August 7, 2020

TITLE: IT Specialist (Network/Sysadmin), GS-2210, Grade 12; $79,109.00 - $102,847.00 /yr plus a COLA of 4.42% and 8% hazardous duty pay
TYPE OF POSITION: Federal Career/Career-Conditional
DIVISION: - Submillimeter Array Project, Radio and Geoastronomy Division
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals.

Note: Federal employees with permanent status or individuals eligible for special appointing authorities may also apply to Job Announcement # 20-50.


The IT Specialist (Network/SYSADMIN) is responsible for the SMA, Hilo, HI network, system, virtual machine and data storage administration. The incumbent is responsible for the operation of complex systems in a functioning astronomical observatory.


1. Network administration. The SMA relies on complex network infrastructure for telescope operations. Network administration duties include: oversight of network operations and rapid response to outages; configuration of switches, routers, and firewalls to maintain network security; optimizing routing paths; documenting network architecture; planning, designing, and costing network improvements or expansions; specification, acquisition, and installation of network hardware; maintaining network hardware; network software and security upgrades; and coordination with IT staff at other Maunakea observatories, the University of Hawaii, the SAO, and the Smithsonian.

2. System administration. The SMA is controlled by a heterogenous collection of computers, primarily Red Hat Linux systems. System administration duties include: oversight of computing operations and rapid response to outages; monitoring system status for anomalies or security issues; system configuration; system software and security upgrades; oversight of software license and support contracts; analysis of computing requirements; and planning, designing, and costing improvements or expansions.

3. Virtual machine administration. The primary SMA servers are virtualized. VM administration duties include: deployment of VMs and containers; analysis of server loads and balancing them with VM resources; migration of VMs between physical hosts; system software and security upgrades; maintenance of VM hosts; specification, acquisition, and installation of VM host hardware; and planning, designing, and costing improvements or expansions.

4.Data storage administration. SMA observations produce data at a rate that can exceed 1 TB per night. Data storage administration duties include: maintenance of data storage servers and backup systems, including cloud storage; specification, acquisition, and installation of storage hardware; planning, designing, and costing improvements or expansions; and oversight of cloud storage contracts. Perform other related duties as assigned.


Individuals must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below.

Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.

Customer Service - Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.

Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.


Experience for GS-12 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-11 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience that includes IT support activities such as network administration, system administration, virtual machine administration, data storage administration, user support, or writing or modifying computer software professionally

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. To view the complete vacancy posting, requirements and the procedures to apply, please visit: USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

Visit our SAO website.


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