Linux Systems Engineer II-2 in San Antonio, TX at Rackspace

Date Posted: 3/13/2020

Job Snapshot

Job Description

YOU ARE THIS PERSON:  You are a highly seasoned Linux Enterprise Systems Engineer who has moved beyond just knowing your kernels and other tech, beyond knowing what makes something HA, what DR means, beyond deep understanding of everything that comprises Enterprise infrastructure. You see business value, you see operational pinch points, you can spot when a precision strike of some tactical automation will save tons of engineering hours. You know how to present a project, problem, or environment to a director-level audience with the right amount of calm and technical depth should it be required, but also the perfect language to speak to a non-technical audience without being scary or so densely complex in your language that the business drivers you’re aiming for are lost in the delivery.  You are well versed of things that touch every area of our internal business process and cover technology from the hardware and cabling, to repeatable and maintainable infrastructure through deployment, package management, config management, to supporting DBA and application installations as functioning pieces of a whole.

Our team’s focus is on Linux infrastructure; but within that broad scope your job will have an immense breadth and the opportunity to get as deep and technical as you want.  We are the back-end of the back-end of the back-end; we architect and design the systems that update the servers that support the applications that support the Rackers to work with our customers. We also help support those servers and some complex apps directly (and set up the Linux Operations team for success doing the same), but ultimately our job is to be the masters of the watch-works that keeps Rackspace’s internal Linux systems running


  • Excellent knowledge of fleet management and Internal IT objectives and strategies. Experience and knowledge of systems automation principles and design.  Able to take ownership, communicate updates, and help direct Jr. engineers to prioritize resolving problems in a timely manner.  
  • General Knowledge Back-ups, Caching, CDN, Cluster management, Firmware, HTML, OS/DISTR, OSPF/IOS, Role Servers, SMTP/Mail Relays, SQL query writing/troubleshooting, SSL Certificates, Sys Design, and Web servers. Advanced knowledge of Linux Kernel, Packet Management, Advanced scripting languages, Auth/ Directory services, DBA, HA, Linux Kernel, Networking, Packet analysis, Security, Storage, System Optimization, Leadership, and Patching required.  Advanced knowledge of FTP and Web Scripting required. 
  • Expert knowledge of Hardware, Load balancing, Performance Monitoring, and DNS required. knowledge of networking, firewalls, load balancing, troubleshooting, stack trace analysis, methodologies of design and implementation. Solid operating knowledge or web servers, cluster management, high availability, database administration, auth/directory services, backups, caching, analysis, FTP, SNMP, JSON, java, virtualization. Familiarity with technical concepts of root cause analysis, systems optimization, configuration and source code management, and automation. Practicality in application of technological concept, specifically the ability to understand when a quest for perfection is preventing good forward progress.


  • Advanced experience preferred: Configuration management (Puppet), Ansible, Satellite / Katello, OpenShift, Jenkins, Kubernetes. Deep networking knowledge both conceptual and hands-on with Firewalls, switches, and load balancers; thorough understand of Datacenter rack, stack, cabling, failover, redundancy, Load Balancing (F5), Shared Storage and Clustering (Pacemaker)
  • Intermediate experience: Networking (DNS, OSI, subnetting, tracerouting), Identity Management (LDAP/AD), Scripting Languages (Postgres, MySQL), Infrastructure as code (Terraform, Jenkins), Ticketing Systems (Jira), Technical Documentation, Github
  • Basic experience: VMWare, Cloud (AWS, Rackspace), Compliance (PCI / SOX).

You’ll need to enjoy and help lead a healthy, functional, enjoyable team dynamic. We are distributed across the US, and we hang out in a virtual video bullpen a lot of the time. We joke, we troll, we collaborate to get our work done and solve problems.

-You should always be driving yourself and the team to ask and challenge “what’s next” and demand of yourself and your management that we prioritize and address huge complex issues that can plague an IT organization that has grown organically.

- You should be open and excited about change to both the organization and company wide.

-You are empowered to identify and fix problems you find but seasoned enough to not go crazy off the rails into some exotic fix no one else can easily figure out, and know when to delegate to another engineer who’s a good fit so that you can keep your time focused on the larger issues, the complex infrastructure implementations, the automation systems we are implementing and which will need constant evolution.  We have some structured commitments we need to meet, so you can’t exactly dive into esoterica for weeks at a time, but there’s room for you to explore and fix things that need it that you have passion around as long as we all know what’s up and we have our team priority basics covered.

-Fanatically, cordially, and passionately work with our internal customers – the development teams and application support teams that build all the tools that Rackers use to deliver Fanatical Support to Rackspace customers.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY:  Responsible for backend engineering support of our fleet, solving technical problems and making educated improvements to the system, and is expected to identify and advise on potential pitfalls that we may experience and suggest alternatives that may better serve the stability and security of our hosted platform.  Supports and maintains network communication and solutions using the Linux Platform.  Responsible for solving complex technical issues which can include OS level, web server, database server, applications server, DNS, SMTP, or other software issues.  Technical responsibilities include problem identification, systems architecture design, hardware/software specification and/or design, and implementation. 

EXPERIENCE/EDUCATION:  Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or a related technical field AND 6+ years Linux systems experience, including systems administration and design/architecture experience required with a minimum of 3 - 4 years working in a FANATICAL customer support work place.  RHCT and RHCE certification or equivalent is required.  At the manager’s discretion equivalent experience may substitute for the degree requirement. 

SCOPE:  Applicants filling this position would be expected to keep abreast of current technologies and new versions of existing software solutions, be mindful of security implications at both an application and network level, understand how to manage disk I/O and memory usage, and how to evaluate and implement hot fixes or patches.

Soft Skills: You are a self-starter and can work under limited supervision. You can manage both project and daily work. Your willing to defend your decisions knowing you’ve fully vetted and evaluated them for best decision for the overall business. You can work well with the team to develop technical solutions and you are accepting to feedback even when your solution isn’t one that’s chosen.

JOB COMPLEXITY:  Analyzes systems and determines business and technical requirements; can translate that vision into actionable items for your fellow engineers to execute.  Ensures completeness and compatibility of the technical infrastructure to support system performance.  Requires leading-edge skills in the latest areas of new technology.  Mentors lower level engineers or administrators, and demonstrates the ability to own large subsystems with a high degree of accountability. Assists Manager to identify gaps in training and process.  Reviews and approves technical documentation.  Ability to diagnose and fix the most complex server and system-wide issues.

Follows and execute Rackspace change management. Contribute and organize central store of knowledge. Attends interdepartmental meetings. Participates in systems/code reviews and design sessions. Participates in Root Cause Analysis sessions. Evaluates changes using risk analysis methods and develop clear written procedures for changes. Takes full ownership of problem life cycle. Analyzes systems and determines business requirements. Attend interdepartmental meetings. Ability to own large projects (months-long implementations of new technology or complex integrations and improvements to legacy systems) with proactive updates and completely directing next steps and adjusting direction as needed. (We do have PM’s for larger efforts but some ongoing strategic and tactical improvements that have largely technical steps within our or our sister departments will need to be owned by the Level IV).

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  General office environment.  Some stress may occur at times.  Some lifting up to 20 pounds required. Some evening and weekend work may be required. On call rotations required.

The above information has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees in this classification.  It is not designed to contain or to be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of the employee assigned to this job.