Principal Systems Engineer

Principal Systems Engineer

At Linode

Date Posted:


Working as a Systems Engineer at Linode involves managing infrastructure for the largest independent open cloud provider in the world. We have 11 global data centers, thousands upon thousands of physical machines, and we aim to deliver a world-class experience to customers. To uphold these standards Linode must remain creative as it relates to solving problems and technological innovation.

We're looking for a Principal level Systems Engineer with a focus on hardware to develop and implement Linode's next generation of infrastructure. We need an “outside the box” thinker who can strategize and implement an infrastructure strategy to ensure our hardware is the fastest, most reliable, and most secure on the market. This will require creative thinking combined with deep domain expertise on Linux, hardware components, and performance tuning.

To find success in this role, you are a natural problem solver and a motivated individual. You are someone who is conscious of uptime and stability while living on the bleeding edge of hardware. Most of all, you're generally curious and thrive when presented with an opportunity to learn something new.



You don't have to have experience with all of these, but you should have experience with some of them and an interest to learn the others:

  • Linux and Tools - Debian, NUMA, resource allocation, CPU pinning, hyperthreading, cgroups
  • Kernel - Debugging, Tuning, Configuring, Building
  • Hardware - Benchmarking, RAID, Server Engineering, Performance Tuning
  • Data Center Engineering - Provisioning and deploying servers, storage, and networking solutions
  • Scripting / Automation - SaltStack, Python, Bash, etc.
  • Infrastructure Services - DHCP, DNS, SSL, NTP, etc.
  • Alerting & Metrics - Nagios, Prometheus, ELK, Grafana
  • Version Control - Git, GitHub

What's expected of you: 

  • Expert level experience in a Hardware, DevOps, SysAdmin role, preferably working with large scale distributed systems.
  • Mastery of hardware administration and automation skills, best practices, and process innovation and efficiency
  • Scope and implement Linode's next generation hardware iteration(s) and make recommendations that influence the Linode hardware roadmap
  • Expertise working with the Linux Kernel and experience with compiling and tweaking kernel for performance / stability
  • Make component and configuration recommendations based on workload and benchmark results
  • Experience with hardware and systems automation
  • Continuously create and iterate on the specification for new hardware builds
  • Proactively seek out gaps in technical understanding, especially cross-functional, and work with the entire organization to educate and inform.
  • Support and mentor other engineers within the department, act as an ambassador for systems across Linode, and provide education, mentorship, or guidence outside of the department
  • Act as a final escalation point for critical services and infrastructure

The nice-to-haves:

  • Familiarity with best practices of systems architecture, design, and high-performance tuning
  • Experience with KVM/QEMU or similar virtualization technologies
  • Experience architecting large scale database server hardware
  • Experience with racking and stacking hardware
  • Experience in a hosting environment or other cloud-based IAAS or SAAS
  • Presence in the open-source world. Contributions to open-source projects as well as your own portfolio to show off is a huge plus
Work With Us
  • Philadelphia Office: HQ is one of the coolest tech buildings in Philly; join us on N3RD street! (
  • Flexible work hours: We have remote work options, flexible start times, and a very generous paid time off package.
  • Unbelievable benefits: We provide comprehensive health insurance, 401(k) contributions, a profit-sharing program, and pension plans.
  • Monthly wellness reimbursements: up to $100 towards gym memberships, diet plans, massages, etc.
  • A MacBook Pro: to use around the office and at home.
  • Free hosting service: Take advantage of some Linode service - we'll pick up the tab.
  • Linode Lunch: What goes better with technology than food? Nothing.  We'll bring in a catered lunch every week.
  • Competitive salary: It all begins with fair compensation. We believe in paying people well and rewarding those who go the extra mile.

Equal Employment, Equal Treatment, No Judgment
Linode is committed to a culture that creates a sense of inclusion and belonging. We understand that teams perform their best when they include people with diverse backgrounds and differing perspectives, but also that to achieve greatness, people need to feel like they can be themselves; they need to be equal, included, and comfortable in order to perform at their best. Linode stands for equal pay, equal treatment, and equal experiences for all of our people, past, present, and future, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, disability status, or any other differentiating factor. We strive to make sure every last person who we interact with feels like they belong and has the same opportunities as everyone else.

Since 2003, Linode has been providing cloud computing services to customers around the world. Linode offers compute, storage, and networking services from data centers in regions spanning across North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. We are committed to making Linode the most simple, powerful and reliable hosting provider that thousands of customers—from the fastest-growing startups to established enterprises—trust. This industry moves fast, but we strive to hire the kind of people who can stay a step ahead and keep us - and themselves - at the top. We are an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to building a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming workplace for all.

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