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Analyst/Senior Analyst for the Data Handling System (DHS)

Rome | Bologna

  • Organization: ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
  • Location: Rome | Bologna
  • Grade: Junior level - A2 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: Closed

Job reference: VN23-21

Location: Bologna, Italy

Deadline for applications: 18/05/2023

Publication date: 21/04/2023

Salary and Grade: Grade A2: EUR 70,794.48 / Grade A3: EUR 87,344.64 net annual basic salary + other benefits

Contract type: STF-C

Department: Computing

Contract Duration: Four years, with the possibility of further contracts

ECMWF are looking for an experienced analyst with a strong background in supporting large scale data storage systems and Linux system administration.  The successful candidate will be based in Bologna and work as part of the six-person Storage team which works as one team spread between Reading and Bologna.

The team is responsible for the day-to-day operation and improvement of the ECMWF data handling systems, comprising tape libraries, disk systems, servers, SAN, NAS and local area networking.  This position will also be expected to work closely with the software developers responsible for developing and supporting the specialised in-house archiving software. As well as the day-to-day support aspects, ECMWF’s data volume and requirements are constantly growing and evolving and this role will be expected to contribute to setting the direction of the service and evaluating and introducing future technologies.

This role is expected to be appointed at Grade A2.

For appointment at the senior Grade A3 level, candidates must be able to demonstrate recent practical experience with IBM HPSS or considerable experience with the software support and management configuration of large-scale and complex data storage systems across a diverse range of hardware.

ECMWF is the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. It is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1975 by a group of European nations and is today supported by 34 Member and Co-operating States, mostly in Europe. The Centre’s mission is to serve and support its Member and Co-operating States and the wider community by developing and providing world-leading global numerical weather prediction. ECMWF functions as a 24/7 research and operational centre with a focus on medium and long-range predictions and holds one of the largest meteorological archives in the world. The success of its activities relies primarily on the talent of its scientists, strong partnerships with its Member and Co-operating States and the international community, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and the use of innovative technologies such as machine learning across its operations.

ECMWF has recently become a multi-site organisation, with its headquarters based since its creation in Reading, UK, a new data centre in Bologna, Italy, and new offices in Bonn, Germany. ECMWF has adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows its staff to mix office working and teleworking. This generous and flexible model provides our staff with considerable flexibility to spend time outside or away from their duty station and decide how they wish to manage their professional working time at ECMWF. ECMWF is an organisation that values the whole being and understands and values the need for flexibility in the way its staff work.

For additional details, see

ECMWF operates two large-scale very active on-premises data archives, in which all ECMWF users (internal and Member States users) can store and retrieve data needed to support both weather forecasting research and operational forecast production. Today this system holds more than 500 petabytes of primary data and almost 200 petabytes of the most essential primary data duplicated in the on-site disaster recovery system. More than 360 terabytes of new data is added each day, this is expected to grow to a petabyte of new data per day as the new High Performance Computing comes into full operation. 

The underlying storage hardware is tape, and we have 10 high-capacity tape libraries, hosting more than 400 IBM enterprise tape drives and 50 LTO tape drives, giving access to data held on 45,000 tapes. On top of this tape layer, there are tens of petabytes of high performance and high-volume disk and solid-state storage to provide cache and buffer space to the ECMWF archive services which are served by a large number of HPE and Dell servers.  Cloud and geo-distributed storage is not yet part of the portfolio but is expected to become a part in the future.

  • Assisting with the management of the archives, the installation and configuration of the flash, disk and tape systems that underly the archives; the configuration and automation of the data management software applications (HPSS/DB2, NetApp ONTAP, TrueNAS, P5) and Red Hat or Rocky Linux currently used by ECMWF
  • Participating in managing project work within the Storage team
  • Work closely with Data Centre engineers and vendor technicians to install, configure, test and    evaluate new hardware to ensure its timely introduction into production
  • Work closely with the software developers responsible for developing and supporting the specialised in-house archiving services
  • Creation and maintenance of monitoring scripts and tools, documentation and training for the running of the service to ensure it is maintained effectively and efficiently
  • Assisting in the day-to-day maintenance and support of the service. This entails providing proximity 24-hour on-call support as part of a rota
  • Providing input for the strategic planning of the further developments of storage and cloud systems, including the implementation of those plans
  • Assisting in the research and the evaluation of new software, storage devices and media which may involve liaising with the development teams of various vendors to provide input for the long-term planning of the storage facilities
  • ​​​​​​Flexibility with a can-do attitude to handle the diverse requirements of this role
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, working methodically and proactively
  • Ability to work independently under pressure in a time critical situation; working reliably and responsibly, able to adapt to changing requirements
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills to work collaboratively with other members of a small team and enjoy actively contributing to team technical discussions to jointly identify the best way to proceed
  • Appreciate and seek opportunities to work with subject matter experts from other fields to understand users’ needs, consider complex technical circumstances, and translate the findings into deliverable requirements


  • A university degree (EQF Level 6), preferably in computer science or in a technical or scientific subject, or equivalent professional qualification and experience


  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Experience with IBM’s HPSS is highly desirable 
  • Very good experience in at least one of the following is required:
    • Administration of large-scale disk and/or tape systems
    • Administration of a collection of servers running Linux 
    • Automated configuration using Ansible
    • Infrastructure management using Red Hat Satellite
  • Some experience of supporting network attached storage systems is desirable
  • Some experience of configuring and troubleshooting local area or storage area networks is desirable
  • Knowledge of a modern scripting language such as Python is required


  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English
  • Fluency in Italian would be advantageous as would knowledge of one of the Centre’s other working languages (French or German)

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 or A3 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be EUR 70,794.48 (A2) or EUR 87,344.64 (A3) net of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy. The position is assigned to the employment category STF-C as defined in the ECMWF Staff Regulations. Full details of salary scales and allowances available on the ECMWF website at, including the ECMWF Staff Regulations and the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible

Length of contract: Four years, with the possibility of a further contract

Location: The position will be located at ECMWF's duty station in Bologna, Italy

As a multi-site organisation, ECMWF has adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows flexibility to staff to mix office working and teleworking

Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their households will be exempt from immigration restrictions

Interviews by videoconference (Via Teams) are expected to take place in early June 2023

Applicants are invited to complete the online application form by clicking on the apply button.

At ECMWF, we consider an inclusive environment as key for our success. We are dedicated to ensuring a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all, without distinction as to race, gender, age, marital status, social status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, personality, ethnicity and culture. We value the benefits derived from a diverse workforce and are committed to having staff that reflect the diversity of the countries that are part of our community, in an environment that nurtures equality and inclusion.

Applications are invited from nationals from ECMWF Member States and Co‑operating States, listed below:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Applications from nationals from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases. 


This vacancy is now closed.
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