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Principal Systems Engineer (Storage)

Glendale, CA - US

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Job ID 771400BR Location Glendale, California, United States Business The Walt Disney Studios Date posted Dec. 29, 2020

Job Summary:

From movie concepts to film production, global premiere to direct to consumer mobile applications - you will innovate and deliver solutions that support a studio whose content is legendary and transcends generations.

We’re looking for passionate engineers who love learning new technologies at a rapid pace. You should be intimately familiar with production systems, large scale data center infrastructure and public cloud. Lean, agile, self-sufficient teams is how we operate. We develop infrastructure-as-code. Automation should always do the work. You will be a part of the team that provides production tools, cutting edge cloud, and infrastructure-as-code for all of the studios under the Disney umbrella.

Your passion for engineering systems is visible to your team, stakeholders and in everything you and your team delivers. You take engineering for the business seriously, and that will help you make decisions that drive value every day. You are:
  • A master problem solver. You take deep pride in your work and view each new problem as an opportunity for success; you approach challenges creatively, but methodically.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity. You face change with a cool head and persevere even if you don’t have all the details; you’re comfortable moving between projects and facing the uncertain because risk and change motivates you to evolve and innovate.
  • Technically astute. You rapidly learn new skills, grasping complicated technical information that often leaves others lost whether it’s product, industry, or hard tech knowledge, you absorb it quickly and are ready for more.
  • Goal oriented. You develop and actualize creative vision, mission, and strategy into a cohesive outcome through capable team management, tactical execution, and unrelenting focus on daily progress; you connect production demand and technology strategies to the solutions you deliver


  • Architect, design, and deploy archive, migration, transport and storage solutions
  • Gathering requirements from business stakeholders, senior leadership and engineering organizations
  • Design and tune production systems for optimal performance and reliability
  • Provide the leadership and “master mechanic” role when operations and engineering need the architect to resolve the hardest issues
  • Provide technical leadership, analysis and top-notch diagrams and documentation for consumption by executives and engineers
  • Architect and deploy solutions in on-premise data centers and public cloud
  • Subject matter expertise for Storage and High Speed WAN Transport
  • Develop and evangelize testing methodologies for establishing baselines/benchmarks and troubleshooting processes
  • Lead and collaborate with internal and peer engineers to ensure solutions are designed to be cloud-native (when applicable), scalable, and easily operated
  • Identify & evangelize new technologies, patterns, solutions, and best practices
  • Ensure security best practice is at the forefront is embedded in our DNA of all your design
  • Develop and mentor junior team members
  • Managing vendors, describing Disney business objectives, shaping product roadmaps and correcting engineer and support issues
  • Effective at dealing with change: Able to transition in role or handle a significant modification or technology with minimal ramp-up time and with very little guidance
  • Data Center and COLO Facility planning
  • Strategic long term planning
  • Conduct quarterly stakeholder reviews covering storage capacity planning, projecting future needs and socializing the optimized use of technologies
  • Ensure timely Storage Utilization reports to stakeholders
  • Budgetary/Fiscal planning regarding Total Cost of Ownership, Capital Purchasing and Maintenance Contracts

Basic Qualifications:

  • 12+ years in engineering or storage systems related to production
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to describe context technology concepts in simple to understand language
  • Operating systems and systems management (e.g. Linux, OSX, and Windows)
  • File System or hierarchical file system concepts
  • Scripting and development languages, including Python, PERL, Powershell, Bash
  • Subject matter expertise in storage lifecycle management
  • Subject matter expertise in high speed transport technologies for Cloud to Cloud, On-Prem to Cloud and Cloud to On-Prem workflows (e.g. Aspera, Signiant)
  • High performance storage solutions used in production (e.g. Isilon, Quantum, Avid Nexis, Pixit)
  • High performance file systems used in production (StorNext, OneFS, GPFS, Lustre)
  • On-Premise to cloud backup systems (e.g. Rubrik, Ngenea, Atempo, Flex*, Datasync)
  • Cloud Storage Vendors, Technologies and Lifecycles (e.g. S3, Glacier, EFS Blob, Wasabi, Object, Block, Lustre)
  • File System Authorization Schemes (POSIX, ACLs)
  • Subject Matter Expertise with File Sharing Protocols (NFS, SMB, DLC)
  • Media File Transport Solutions (e.g. Signiant, Aspera)
  • Hosting virtualization technologies (e.g. VMWare, KVM)
  • File/Storage Security (Encryption-At-Rest, Least Privileged Access)
  • Compression/De-duplication Technologies

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Author tools, and leverage open source, to automate tasks
  • Management of high-performance media environment, requiring high levels of automation
  • Experience working in Film or TV production environments
  • Strong project management and resource planning experience
  • IP networking including performance-based troubleshooting
  • Media Asset Management Systems
  • Skilled in Cloud/IaaS Environments (e.g. AWS, Azure, GCE)
  • Experience with Storage Platforms for Cloud Native Kubernetes workflows
  • Build systems, storage, and networks with Infrastructure-as-Code philosophies where applicable to be nimble and reusable
  • Experience with data migration at petabyte scale
  • Expertise in Software Development Continuous Integration (CI) Pipeline knowledge (e.g. Jenkins, Gitlab CI) and Source Control Management (e.g. Git)
  • Authentication tool-sets such as Active Directory, LDAP
  • Data center, network, and application architectures

Required Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering

Preferred Education

  • Advanced degrees preferred

About The Walt Disney Studios:

For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!. Ours is a culture of innovation, inspiration and collaboration that brings together visionary artists, gifted technologists and savvy business minds to conjure up magical entertainment experiences for a global audience.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Pictures, which is part of a business segment we call The Walt Disney Studios.

Walt Disney Pictures is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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