Data Center Technician

  • Northwestern University
  • Evanston, IL, USA
  • Jun 24, 2020
Full time Information Technology IT

Job Description

Provide onsite support for day-to-day Data Center work and larger scale Data Center design and build projects and moves.  Under minimal supervision, monitors, diagnoses, and corrects operational status of the University’s business functions within the communication networks and Data Center services and components. Responsible for coordination between shifts which is required to ensure that all Data Center Systems run efficiently without interruption and Maintenance Program is completed efficiently.  Responsible for managing ticket queue and working tickets through to completion.  When appropriate, communicates business function status with internal University customers.  Under minimal direction, installs, tests, and documents computing equipment.  As scheduled, visits data center sites to confirm operating conditions are within normal tolerances or report findings and take appropriate measures to correct.

Specific Responsibilities:

24/7 Operation Center Support Services:

  • Monitors network activity, computing system performance, and facility environmental status from a centralized Service Operation Center (SOC) ensuring high availability and attainment of service levels goals.
  • Effectively communicates and escalates incidents, problems, event alarms and service fulfillment requests ensuring quick resolution or hand off to the appropriate support area within posted unit response window.
  • Resolves assigned trouble tickets providing operational support via online, telephone and/or by two-way radio.  Promptly closes out completed work tickets to document personal productivity.
  • Answers incoming telephone and radio calls to the SOC within posted unit response window.
  • Provides backup coverage to ensure 24/7 operation and support.

On-Site Support Services:

  • Plans and forecasts data center machine space locations for new and existing equipment.
  • Responsible for maintaining IT critical facilities physical infrastructure standards for space, power, cooling, and data networking.
  • Controls physical security and site access to IT critical facilities.  Monitors, corrects, and reports observed infractions of security policies and procedures to ensure security procedures are followed and enforced.
  • Fulfills the role of Major Incident Management for IT service outages.
  • Participates in Change Advisory Board meetings and reviews proposed changes as part of the change management control process.
  • Maintains spare parts inventory levels for cable, racks, and server parts to ensure adequate server installation consumables are on hand to permit timely installation of new data center hardware.
  • Manages secure shipping and receiving of IT equipment.

Assists as directed with project activity including the following:

  • Installs and cables servers and IT equipment.
  • Troubleshoots server hardware and includes power cycling, soft-booting server, server removal and re-install for break/fix repairs.
  • Programs network switch ports.
  • Tests network cabling and replaces if necessary and troubleshoots network switches.
  • Removes and follows procedures to salvage old IT equipment.
  • Handles all equipment inventory, labeling, and documents equipment cabinet layout.

Performs other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 2 year course or study in an accredited college or university leading to an Associates or higher degree in computer science, telecommunications, or related engineering discipline, or documented military training certification in data communications, telecommunications, power control systems, environmental control systems or network operations or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills and abilities can be acquired.
  • Five years’ experience in data center operations or network operations in a corporate environment, university or military facilities following standard operating procedures and handling event and alarm response.
  • Two years’ experience with facility power systems maintenance and/or environmental systems maintenance.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills when working with IT professionals, faculty and staff. Excellent written and verbal skills.
  • Ability to develop Method of Procedure and Scope of Work.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office products (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint), Internet browsers and other common computer utilities.
  • Ability to explain and absorb technical aspects of the work to both inform and take directions in time critical situations.
  • Ability to comprehend complex systems, to understand the interrelationships between components and to anticipate how system failures might occur.
  • Ability to direct junior staff to accomplish routine work and respond effectively to alarm situations.
  • Working knowledge of HVAC, Power, Fire, Security and Building automation systems operations and safety.

Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree.
  • Experience in data center operations or network operations in military facilities following standard operating procedures and handling event and alarm response.
  • Comp TIA A+ Certification, Security+ Certification, and/or Network+ Certification.
  • Military Technical Certifications.
  • Experience working in Higher Education in a central Information Technology or data center.
  • ITIL Fundamentals Certification (most recent level).

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Two years’ experience working with enterprise-class server hardware in a LAN networking/distributed computing environment.  Experience should include installing, specifying, documenting and troubleshooting server hardware, cabling and networking.


Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.