Manager of Server Application Support

Position Description

The Server Application Support team is responsible for all server-side application systems and infrastructure for AIG Business Partners (ABP), a business unit which delivers application solutions to AIG’s Investments, Treasury, Finance, and Enterprise Risk Management divisions. Server Application Support is a cross-functional team of approx 10 hands-on technology professionals who are responsible for the engineering and day-to-day operational management of Windows, Linux/Unix, and OpenVMS environments and the applications those environments support. Production and non-production environments run on a highly virtualized VCE Vblock/VMware infrastructure which includes VMAX storage arrays and VNX based network filesystems which are replicated to a remote datacenter. The infrastructure also includes a VMware View implementation which supports Windows desktop access for software developers and end users. Oracle database environments run on the Oracle Exadata platform with Oracle ZFS hardware used for backup and archiving processes. The management approach for the virtualized infrastructure is to leverage automated/scripting methods and principles from DevOps and Cloud Computing approaches to provision new systems, monitor activity, and report on daily operational status. It is time to add someone to our Server Application Support team who can take the management approach for our virtualized infrastructure, and the financial services applications it runs, to the next level.

Experience is important. For this role you’ll need to have at least 10 years of experience as a Senior Systems Administrator engineering and operating VMware-based Windows and Linux environments which support production critical server-side applications. You have hands-on experience managing enterprise grade Microsoft Windows environments and you are knowledgeable in multiple Microsoft server-side platforms including Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint, BizTalk, Exchange Server, Terminal Services, and Citrix (to name a few). You have many years of experience managing VMware vSphere infrastructures for both Microsoft and Linux/Unix application services, and VMware View for VDI (Virtual Desktop Interface) deployments. You have worked in an enterprise environment before and are familiar with administering Storage Area Networks on multiple storage platforms such as EMC VMAX/Symmetrix, Hitach UPS, and HP EVA, and you are knowledgeable in their replication products and methods. Your systems management approach innately leverages automated methods and you have several years’ experience using languages such as PowerShell, Perl, VBScript/WSH, cmd/bat, and Unix sh/ksh/bash to scale a systems administration function. You have managed Systems Administration teams who have been responsible for both engineering and operational support of enterprise computing environments.

Here’s who we’re looking for:

You’re the type of person who loves engineering enterprise grade production critical systems. While you strive to be an expert in all the technologies that you use, you are in fact less interested in the technical aspects of systems administration work and your real passion is in your ability to engineer and operate scalable, highly reliable, and easily recoverable application environments that improve and innovate the way that business processes are performed. You believe in the benefits of converged technologies (rather than the a-la-carte engineering of physical infrastructure) and you are motivated to implement vendor-based solutions when possible in order to maximize the time of your team to engineer and operate better performing application environments. When you describe how your system environments are designed, you tend to use business metaphor rather than technical descriptions. You are someone who focuses on clearly understanding requirements and, with constant motivation to do things right, you are driven to find the simplest designs and implementations that could possibly work.

You believe in Agile methods for collaboration and organizing work. You understand the perspectives and techniques of DevOps, Cloud Computing, Scrum, Lean, and Continuous Delivery because you have taken the time to read books and articles on these subjects by authors of the methodologies. Nevertheless, you understand that not all methods can be applied verbatim and you always work to apply the techniques that you learn in the most appropriate and reasonable ways for the situation at hand.

You are an excellent communicator. Besides the fact that you are patient and always clear when speaking, you are equally clear and thoughtful in your written communication. You understand that the real secret in being a good communicator is in having the ability to be mindful of the concerns and interests of your end users and colleagues who are reading your written messages. You communicate accurately, truthfully, and professionally in a way that is respectful of other people’s time.

You are technically astute. You love the field of Computer Science and you spend a fair amount of your personal time reading, learning, and practicing to improve your skills. You use the tools to administer your systems like a craftsman, and you manage your systems and application environments by constantly automating provisioning, deployment, and monitoring methods; you do these things because you know they enable you to maintain a higher level of quality and it gives you the ability to deliver new application environments needed by developers and end users in the shortest amount of time.

If you were working for us, here are some of the things you would have done last week:

  • Troubleshoot an overnight problem in the fail-over and resiliency of our VMware infrastructure. Determined the real cause of the problem and discussed the best approach with several colleagues and vendor support groups to avoid a similar situation in the future. Determined a fix needed in the configuration, tested it, and scheduled an off-hours maintenance event to implement the change in production.
  • Took a deep-dive into the details of an automated cloning process for a production critical database replicated to our disaster recovery site. Learned some additional information about the SAN replication configuration and the automated cloning scripts and suggested improvements to increase the performance of the process by several minutes.
  • Discussed requirements for an upcoming high-priority application project with several developers and end users. Collaborated with Development teams on a design for dev, test, and production environments, including CPU, memory, production failover, and replication requirements. Structured a project to deliver the dev environment right away (so that Development teams could start working immediately), and a timeline for delivering the remaining environments within the overall project schedule.
  • Worked with DBA teams to increase the daily backup and real-time replication performance of several production critical Oracle database servers.
  • Wrote a job description for a consulting role needed to help with the migration of physical servers to our virtualized infrastructure. Submitted the role for budget approval and initiated discussions with our Contingent Resource Management team to start the recruiting process.
  • Coached and collaborated with a team member on a script to automatically install a new proprietary Windows application service that was developed by our Portfolio Administration Development team. Modified and tested the Windows Server build script and scheduled a change to update all deployed Windows Servers. Extended the monitoring infrastructure to alert on any run-time failures in the new application service. Demonstrated the approach to the Server Application Support team so that everyone learns about the design of the new automated method.
  • Read the new Corporate Policies and Standards for Security, Change Management, and Performance Management. Created a few process and procedural documents to support Corporate requirements for administering application environments and infrastructures.

And here are some of the other things you might do:

  • Provide walkthroughs of Server Application Support processes for internal and external audit teams for an upcoming SOX audit. Provide populations of change management and security events to facilitate audit sampling and answer any specific questions that may arise regarding the management of our infrastructure.
  • Work with AIG’s Global Services IT Group to migrate a legacy Microsoft Exchange environment to a Corporate managed infrastructure.
  • Develop an innovative approach for managing standard server configuration files in a source code control system with an automated testing and deployment method so that manual changes to system configurations are avoided. Demonstrate your approach to the Client Application Support team so that your new automated method is also adopted for the management of desktop systems.
  • Create a business case to expand the storage capacity of our SAN infrastructure. Collaborate with Development and DBA team managers to estimate capacity needed over the next two years. Solicit preliminary quotes from vendors to support the business case rationale and communicate upgrade options to business unit managers.
  • Write a maintenance notice to end users and development teams so that everyone is informed of planned outages to support an emergency rollout of an operating system patch.
  • Update the Disaster Recovery Plan and Application Profile documents for a new application being deployed to production. Work with the Corporate Business Continuity team to schedule a disaster recovery test of the new application before its go-live date.
  • Improve the automated deployment and storage allocation processes for Windows and Linux Servers so that new development and test environments can be provisioned to a standardized configuration.
  • Work a weekend to support ongoing maintenance in production environments or to catch-up on an important deliverable.

Does our way of working resonate with you?

Do you feel connected to our way of working? Are you energized by the opportunity of doing great things at work? If so, contact us because we want to meet you too.

The position is located in our Wilton, CT office. To apply, please send a resume and a one page introductory cover letter to:

AIG, Inc.
AIG Business Partners
50 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897

Note, only candidates qualified and interested in the role should apply. Solicitations or submissions from recruiters or firms will not be accepted.


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