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Sr. Systems Administrator
Sr. Systems Administrator
  Full-Time @ CoSA VFX

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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CoSA VFX is a visual effects studio in the Media and Entertainment industry. While particularly strong in the television space, CoSA also works on feature films and commercials.


Position Purpose & Summary


The Senior System Administrator (SSA), located in our Vancouver, BC, office is responsible for supporting and implementing systems, primarily in Vancouver, but also at our other sites. The SSA reports to the IT Director and will support the improvement of the IT team in Vancouver.


This position will be charged with provisioning, installation/configuration, operation, and maintenance of systems hardware and software and related of both infrastructure (storage, servers, networking) and client systems, working closely with the Director and members of the IT team.


The SSA will participate in technical research and development to enable continuing innovation within the infrastructure. This individual ensures that system hardware, operating systems, software systems, and related procedures adhere to organizational values, enabling the team to work effectively and efficiently across the organization.


This position will also have a responsibility for developing and supporting cloud and/or hosted services related to Project content creation (bare metal or VDI workstations, render nodes, etc.), working closely with the CoSA IT team


The SSA will serve as a project manager, interacting with other CoSA departments and vendors, analyzing suitable configurations or approaches, providing recommendations, and planning and coordinating implementation.


This position will assist with technical issues in the initiation, planning and implementation of systems projects. These activities include the definition of needs, benefits, and technical strategy; research & development; technical analysis and design; and support of operations staff in executing, testing and rolling-out the solutions. Participation on projects is focused on smoothing the transition of projects from development to production use by performing operations activities within the project life-cycle.


The SSA may be called on to provide user helpdesk support, image and deploy user workstations, create and terminate user accounts on multiple systems, and support render operations for the studio.

Position Essential Functions


Projects and Provisioning


  • Assess, install, configure, deploy, and implement systems, networking, and applications to support operations.
  • Provide project oversight, leadership, and integrity assessment while ensuring projects stay on track.
  • Install new and/or rebuild existing servers, and configure hardware, peripherals, services, settings, directories, storage, etc. in accordance with standards and project/operational requirements.
  • Work with the IT Director and Los Angeles team to plan, implement, and manage network growth.
  • Troubleshoot networking, server, and workstation issues. Determine causes. Find paths to resolution. Participate in troubleshooting for internally developed applications, as well as problem resolution for Media & Entertainment applications such as Nuke and Maya.
  • Provide user support as related to core IT services; provide basic support and triage to development team for user application issues.
  • Participate in development, maintenance, and improvement of installation and configuration procedures and standards for the team.
  • Research, recommend, and implement improvements to and automation of system administration tasks. Identify approaches that leverage our resources and provide economies of scale.


Operations, Maintenance, and Support


  • Perform daily system monitoring, verifying the integrity and availability of all hardware, server resources, systems and key processes, reviewing system and application logs.
  • Perform regular security monitoring and support security initiatives.
  • Participate in oversight of backup operations.
  • Ensure regular archival and purge operations are being performed according to procedure and are completed on a timely basis.
  • Create, change, and delete user accounts for various systems, including Active Directory, chat system, shot tracking system, etc. per departmental policy and protocol.
  • Support workstation management, imaging, and configuration. Image, deploy, configure user profiles for users.
  • Ensure proper documentation of systems and procedures.
  • Support physical security systems and ensure proper functioning.
  • Support both in-house and cloud application configuration and usage.
  • Ensure appropriate asset tagging and tracking data is properly managed to ensure best utilization of computing resources.
  • Provide escalation support as needed. Assess, troubleshoot, and resolve issues.
  • Repair and recover from hardware or software failures.  Coordinate and communicate with impacted constituencies.
  • Maintain floating license servers.
  • Communicate with vendors where necessary.
  • Apply OS and firmware patches and upgrades.
  • Upgrade and configure infrastructure systems and software per as needed.
  • Administer Active Directory and accounts for other systems.
  • Perform periodic performance reporting to support capacity planning.
  • Perform ongoing performance tuning, hardware upgrades, and resource optimization as required.  Configure CPU, memory, and disk partitions as required.
  • Maintain server room and colocation facility environmental and monitoring equipment.
  • Other duties and projects as assigned.






  • Bachelor degree, with a technical major, such as engineering or computer science preferred – or equivalent experience.
  • Four to six years system administration experience, preferably in a Media/Entertainment environment, and preferably in Visual Effects.
  • A+, RHEL and/or Windows, and/or CCNA certification preferred.
  • Solid experience and fluency in Windows, Linux, and Mac required. While CoSA is currently predominantly a Windows shop, strong Linux skills are preferred.
  • Significant scripting and automation experience in Bash, Windows CMD/PowerShell, and Python preferred.
  • Thorough background, training, and experience administering Active Directory - OU’s, LDAP calls/configuration, GPO, DC/GC/FSMO, Sites & Services, and so on.
  • TCP/IP Management (AD, DNS, DHCP, etc.) experience is required. Must have substantial knowledge of
  • Experience with networking installation and configuration, including switches, routers, firewalls, cabling (copper/fiber), VLAN’s, ACL’s, etc. required. Experience with Cisco, Mellanox (nVidia), SonicWall, and Netgear prosumer equipment preferred. CCNA preferred.
  • Experience with building and administering Cloud platforms (AWS/GCP/Azure) strongly preferred.
  • Experience with floating license servers (FlexLM, RLM, etc.) preferred.
  • Experience with Virtualized Environments (VMWare, HyperV, etc.) preferred.
  • Experience with enterprise clustered storage (Isilon, Qumulo, etc.) preferred.
  • Experience with enterprise backup systems preferred.
  • Experience with Visual Effects applications strongly preferred; these applications include Nuke, Maya, Houdini, After Effects, and Thinkbox Deadline.
  • Experience managing on-premise Microsoft Exchange is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to produce clear, concise, cogent documentation is required. Experience in or strong aptitude for technical training preferred.
  • Previous, demonstrable experience with technical project management and supervision, including creating logical work break downs and assignments, with the ability to support staff in their tasks, strongly preferred.


Traits and Work Habits


  • Exceptionally strong attention to detail, with the ability to ensure accuracy of work.
  • Able to handle multiple projects and assigned task in parallel.
  • Flexible and able to shift priorities quickly while keeping on top of returning to pre-empted tasks.
  • Personable, friendly, and clear communications skills, including ability to compose cogent summaries and explanations.
  • Very strong organizational and follow-through skills.
  • Self-Motivated, solution oriented, can work independently.
  • Resilient and a good sense of humor (required).


Working Conditions


Due to the significant proportion of television work, CoSA has an exceptionally fast-paced and demanding environment. This position requires flexible working hours and an ability to flex and/or extend work effort on very short notice.  The candidate must be able to thrive in a highly ambiguous environment with strict deadlines.  The work environment is primarily studio and Work-From-Home, but the position will require server room and Colocation facility work as well. Occasional/infrequent travel may be required. The candidate should expect bending, sitting, standing, walking, lifting up to 40Lb.



NOTE:  The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by people assigned to this work.  This is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities associated with this role.  CoSA VFX Management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet business and organizational needs. 


This job posting was last updated on Jan. 8, 2021