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Server Operations Engineer (Linux, Containers, VMWare)

Job ID: 5880

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Information Technology


About Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a preeminent, full-service law firm with offices around the world and a staff as diverse as the practice areas we support. Our clients range from Fortune 100 companies to medium and small corporations, financial institutions, and private equity firms.  Known for our commitment to excellence, Kirkland strives to provide superior service to our clients as well as our fellow employees. From Information Technology to Human Resources, Paralegal Services to Business Development, Kirkland offers non-attorney professionals challenging careers in a variety of functional areas. Whether starting or growing your career, Kirkland can offer a performance-driven culture filled with bright and innovative teams of co-workers.

Essential Job Functions


As a member of the Server Operations team, provide day-to-day support for the global Kirkland & Ellis server infrastructure. Daily activities include Project Coordination and Planning, Server Operations PSPG's (Policies Standards Procedures Guidelines), Project Deployment, Server Environment Provisioning, Analysis & Reports, Administrative Support, Perform Data Center Analysis and Execution, and Vendor Management & Coordination.

Applicants must be able to support both Windows and Linux servers for operational support. This position has a strong focus on Linux servers, Containers, Virtualization and Hyper-converged technologies.



  • Maintain a hybrid Linux & Windows server environment including deploying new servers, decommissioning servers, troubleshooting issues with existing servers and assisting other IT groups with specific server related tasks such as installing new roles and implementing security team mandated changes and guidelines.
  • Strong understanding of different Linux OS versions including Red Hat, CentOS, Ubuntu, SUSE and Debian including provisioning, installing, securing, monitoring and maintaining Linux hardware and software infrastructure.
  • Strong understanding of Container technologies such as Kubernetes, Docker, Rancher, etc. is a must.
  • Understanding of cloud technology in general, and Microsoft Azure specifically for managing access to Azure Dev Ops.
  • Understanding of DNS, Certificates, NGINX.
  • Understanding of Load Balancers, specifically F5 is a plus.
  • Experience with monitoring tools such as SCOM, Nagios, and Dynatrace.
  • Apply and maintain best practices and patch management on Linux servers.
  • Deploy automation tools and write scripts on Linux servers.
  • Strong virtualization technology. Must be able to deploy, maintain and upgrade VMWare ESXi 6.x. must understand vCenter and be able to perform all essential functions within the application.
  • Respond to Level 1 thru 3 support tickets and provide timely support to other IT groups.
  • Work on IT projects and be able to see project from planning stages to completion.
  • Work with new hardware and software technologies and be able to understand and learn said technologies to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME) as needed or delegated by manager.




  • Contributes to identifying new areas of opportunities, techniques and approaches.
  • Demonstrates some advanced technical skills within technical specialty.
  • Able to contribute to technology strategies and road maps.


  • Able to coordinate engineering teams in a complex installation.
  • Capable of developing documentation and works plans for a complex solution.
  • Able to develop and execute routine test plans for a point solution.


  • Provides intermediate Level 3 support.  Investigates operational or systematic problems and provides resolution using intermediate analytical skills and tools as necessary.
  • Coordinates and leads engineering teams in a matrixed environment.
  • Able to use advanced tools to troubleshoot and diagnose complex issues.
  • Displays vendor management skills.
  • Able to develop and execute routine production maturity plans.
  • Able to develop and execute routine capacity and performance plans.

Qualifications & Requirements


Education, Work Experience, Skills

The Server Engineer 2 must have a BA/BS in computer science, related field, or equivalent experience.  Must have 5+ years of overall technology experience along with 3+ years supporting major implementations in large scale Linux and VMWare environments.



  • Listening, understanding and articulating technical and non-technical information (both written and oral formats) to customers, peers and/or management in a one-on-one or team context with some oversight. 
  • Effective production support activities, including advanced technical writing.
  • Documenting small to medium scale projects with some supervision, and is involved in developing and delivering presentation.

Decision Making

  • Ability to solicit input from internal and external sources, including the ability to investigate and weigh best practices from other firms, analyze input and use sound judgment.   
  • Is required to make decisions or communicate across organizational boundaries. 
  • Involved in anticipating problem troubleshooting scenarios and analyzing ways in which to avoid the problem completely or greatly mitigate its risk. The goal is to minimize the trade-offs between cost containment and/or timeliness of service so that both are somewhat achievable.

Interpersonal Skills

  • Does "whatever it takes" to support the tactical and strategic goals of the team and in the Firm.
  • Recognized as a positive and motivational force on the team. 
  • Recognizes and Defuses complex interpersonal issues effectively while managing customer expectations.  Sets follow up steps in accordance with best practices. 
  • Negotiates skillfully and compromises in very difficult situations to build relationships internally and externally for the team.

Strategic/Change Leadership

  • Contributes through a high degree of technical expertise/professional mastery in solving critical and complex problems or opportunities facing the team or group.
  • Provides feedback to management on strategic recommendations. Fosters environment of innovation and change. 
  • Recognizes the scope of problems and understands the impact of changes on others. 
  • Promotes cooperation.
  • Encourages and rewards risk-taking.

Program/Project Management

  • Reports on progress and project milestones. 
  • Frequently updates teams and management via formal presentations.
  • Focuses on outcomes and achieves results.

Technical Ability


  • Expert level knowledge of at least one technology (e.g., architecture, design). 
  • Understands multiple projects in order to integrate them into business solutions.


  • Able to configure Linux Operating systems and VMware and hypervisors.
  • Knowledge of Linux and Microsoft server maintenance techniques and the ability to apply them consistently across all servers.
  • Basic coding techniques (PowerShell, Bash, Perl, Phython) and the ability to automate processes to implement and manage the server environment effectively.
  • Knowledge of networking and load balancing and fail over systems.
  • Knowledge of the application of system concepts such as DNS, VMWare vMotion, VMware Storage vMotion, and other server technologies.
  • Knowledge of hardware vendors and the tools associated with selected vendor products.
  • Capable of interpreting messages/alerts from multiples systems to identify potential problems.
  • Have worked with and adhered to Change Control Management policies and implementation standards.
  • Strong understanding of Container technologies such as Kubernetes, Docker, Rancher, etc. is a must.
  • Understanding of cloud technology in general, and Microsoft Azure specifically for managing access to Azure Dev Ops.
  • Understanding of DNS, Certificates, NGINX.
  • Experience with monitoring tools such as SCOM, Nagios, and Dynatrace.

Tools and Equipment

  • Required to carry an iPhone and/or other wireless device and respond to off hour emergencies. Availability to work nights and weekends as required for systems maintenance and support.


  • This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  To complete an application and submit your resume, please click "Apply Now."

Equal Employment Opportunity

All employment decisions, including the recruiting, hiring, placement, training availability, promotion, compensation, evaluation, disciplinary actions, and termination of employment (if necessary) are made without regard to the employee’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy or childbirth, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity, political affiliation, source of income, place of residence, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military veteran status, unfavorable discharge from military service, physical or mental disability, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Closing Statement

The job postings and recruiting mailbox are for candidates only. If you are a recruiter, search firm or employment agency, and do not have a signed contract with Kirkland & Ellis LLP ("K&E") and have not been asked specifically to submit candidates, you will not be compensated in any way for your referral of a candidate even if K&E hires the candidate. Direct contact with K&E employees in an attempt to present candidates is inappropriate and will be a factor in determining any future professional relationship with the Firm.