Advert. No. 2020_0062
Working at ESO

Are you interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment? Do you feel your profile matches our requirements? Learn more about our current vacancies and apply online. Read more..

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.


ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA and APEX), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.


At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.


For its IT Department in the IT Group in Garching, within the Directorate of Engineering, ESO is opening an International Staff Member position of:

IT Specialist – Infrastructure


Vacancy closed on 28/02/2021

Deadline 28/02/2021

We are looking for an IT Specialist, providing expertise to ESO Projects, programmes and collaborations, all of this ensuring user satisfaction, continuous operation and appropriate project completion. Are you passionate about Information Technology and are you looking forward for new challenges working in an exciting scientific environment supporting some of the world's biggest observatories? Would you like to work in a real international environment, with real teamwork, in a department that has staff originating from eight different countries and is spread over multiple sites on two continents; in a team of specialists delivering IT services in an evolving technological landscape? Would you like to shape your future with the opportunity to use your own experience to develop IT Infrastructure related strategies, to apply state-of-the art technologies and learn about the latest innovations, joining technology conferences?

The IT Specialist for Infrastructure is part of the IT Group in Garching working in close collaboration with the IT Group in Chile and external service providers, supporting 600 users; together with almost 7PB of scientific, engineering and administrative data (SAN, NAS and bespoke solution), hosted on the IT managed infrastructure of approximately 600 physical blade and rackmount servers and 600 virtual servers on Linux and Windows in 3 Data Centres.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Design, organise, produce, deliver and monitor the evolution of IT Services according to ESO IT standards and requirements from users and the organisation;
  • Design, manage and support ESO Garching Storage Technologies;
  • Design, manage and support the ESO Garching backup infrastructure;
  • Support the ESO virtualisation platform;
  • Plan, manage and support Fibre Channel and InfiniBand networks;
  • Manage the DNS infrastructure;
  • Manage the ESO Garching monitoring software solutions;
  • Technically lead the IT service operational support in your area, both on an organisational level and with the out-tasked provider support teams;
  • Take responsibility for all aspects of Service delivery for your appointed IT Services;
  • Lead or contribute to IT projects, collaborating with colleagues on all ESO sites.

Reports to:

Head of IT Group Garching of the Information Technology Department within the Directorate of Engineering.

Key competences and Experience:


  • Several years of experience in IT infrastructure;
  • Hands-on experience in storage management of SAN and NAS and hands-on experience in backup management;
  • Experience in managing, planning and documenting projects;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Demonstrated teamwork and collaboration skills, in particular in contributing to global teams;
  • Has a desire to learn new things and able to understand complex operational environments.


  • Knowledge of Quantum Tape Libraries and deduplication devices;
  • Knowledge of Fujitsu and NetApp storage systems;
  • Hands-on experience in storage management of: Lustre, GlusterFS, Ontap (WAFL);
  • Hands-on experience in backup management using EMC Networker and Data Domain;
  • Experience in supporting or using VMware;
  • Knowledge in planning, managing and supporting Fibre Channel and InfiniBand networks using Brocade;
  • Experience in DNS (Bind);
  • Experience with Performance and Event Monitoring Technologies such as Munin, Icinga and NetFlow;
  • Preparation and management of maintenance contracts;
  • Experience in technical writing;
  • Experience in a multicultural environment.


University degree in Computer Science or equivalent.

Language Skills:

An excellent command of the English language - oral, reading and writing - is essential. A knowledge of German and/or Spanish is also an advantage.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and the possibility to place your child/children in daycare.

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years, and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There is a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements and as defined in the aapplicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station:

ESO Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany. This position involves duty travel to the ESO sites in Chile and/or partner institutes in Europe, North America and Japan.

Career Path: V


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Closing date for applications is 28 February 2021.

ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce.

No nationality is in principle excluded, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

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