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Data Centre Supervisor/Client Support Technician

Department: Mathematics Faculty Computing Facility (MFCF) Effective Date: December, 2008


35 hr/wk

Reports to: Client Services Manager, MFCF

General Accountability

The Data Centre Supervisor/Client Support Technician is accountable to the Client Services Manager for the management of the MFCF Data Centre, the student printing facility and the MFCF owned student computer labs which provide computing support to faculty, staff and students in the Faculty of Mathematics excluding Computer Science. The incumbent is responsible for a wide range of activities supporting the setup and ongoing maintenance of the supported computing environments in the Faculty. The Data Centre Supervisor/Client Support Technician must work closely with MFCF staff members, other campus organizations and customers as many projects span organizational boundaries.


Nature and Scope

a)  Organizational Relationships

 Other positions which report directly to the Client Services Manager:

Positions which report directly to the incumbent:

b)   Description of general framework and environment:

The Mathematics Faculty Computing Facility (MFCF) is the primary computing support provider for the Faculty of Mathematics (excluding Computer Science) with exception of CS Undergraduate student support at the University of Waterloo and is located in the MC building. MFCF’s mandate is to provide computing and networking infrastructure to support the research, teaching, and administrative missions of the Faculty. MFCF plans, manages, and monitors the network facilities within the Mathematics Faculty. This enhanced network capability is connected to the campus backbone network, and hence the internet, through a single point of presence provided by IST. Services include account administration for non-MFCF owned research machines, electronic mail, local software enhancements, news group service, and web access.

MFCF supports over 300 administrative and research machines including: SunOS, Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms. MFCF also provides remote distribution of software (e.g. mathematical text processors, scientific software, statistical packages, compiler, editors, etc.) particularly through the MFCF developed Xhier system.

In response to curriculum demands within the Faculty, MFCF centrally plans, develops, and administers instructional labs. These include special labs for statistical computing, and applied mathematical modeling. General purpose instructional facilities include three Nexus labs, one ThinClient lab, and one Wireless lab for a total of 125 seats. The labs provide students immediate access to an array of Windows and Unix servers. Graduate students in the Faculty are served by 500 ThinClient terminals, one for each student in their offices. On campus Mathematics Faculty students are provided Unix accounts for the duration of their academic terms. MFCF not only maintains its own systems, but also provides hardware, software, and consulting support to faculty members and administrative staff across the Faculty who operate their own equipment.

MFCF computing support may affect users outside of the Faculty. Examples are the requirements of the Institute for Quantum Computing, support of the campus SGI Origin3800, the distributed nature of the MFCF developed software distribution system, and the presence of non-Math groups in areas for which MFCF has responsibility for networking.

c) Significant internal relationships:                     

d) Significant external relationships:   

Statistical Data


The incumbent has signing authority on several operating accounts.

There is substantial interaction with students, faculty and staff.  Tact and diplomacy is essential when dealing with customers. Imposing lab regulations can be quite stressful when dealing with students.

There is a frequent need to plug equipment in under desks, move furniture to find network connections and power, engage in light to medium lifting of computing equipment; typically workstation-class machines, network components, and mid-sized servers. Noise levels in the data centre are consistently loud due to the high number of servers and air conditioning units.

Staff may occasionally be required to work beyond normal business hours to resolve emergencies, or test and deploy changes in the production environment. In general, working hours are flexible, as circumstances allow.

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions