SC19 Proceedings

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis

SAGE2 11th Annual International SC BOF: Scalable Amplified Group Environment for Global Collaboration

Authors: Jason Leigh (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Maxine Brown (University of Illinois, Chicago), Luc Renambot (University of Illinois, Chicago)

Abstract: SAGE2 (Scalable Amplified Group Environment) is the de facto operating system for managing Big Data on tiled display walls, providing the scientific community with persistent visualization and collaboration services for global cyberinfrastructure. SAGE2 is an open-source, web-based, user-centered platform for local or distributed groups of researchers, educators and students to communicate information and ideas as if they are in the same room. This year’s BoF provides a forum to provide new and potential users with an overview of new features and enhancements, and to elicit community input on use cases and roadmaps.

Long Description: SAGE2, like its predecessor SAGE (Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment), is a framework that lets users share digital content with local and remote collaborators on scalable display walls. Via wireless, users can simultaneously connect to display walls with their devices, share laptop screens, transfer local documents to the wall using a drag-and-drop interface, access web pages, share local documents with remote users, and use a mouse pointer and keyboard to interact with existing content. SAGE2 receives major funding from the National Science Foundation.

The SAGE2 SC BOF is a relevant forum for the audience, as the SC and SAGE2 communities overlap almost 100%. SAGE2 users work at supercomputer centers, government laboratories, universities, and industry research centers (multiple users per site), with half these institutions in the U.S. and half international, making the SC BOF the primary venue for discourse and for attracting new SAGE2 users. Attendee names are added to a SAGE2 listserv used for year-round communications. (Note: This listserv is in addition to an online Forum where users post software questions.)

The SAGE2 SC BOF provides an unparalleled opportunity for community building, as current stakeholders and potential users attend SC. Though we are aware of over 100 institutions that use SAGE2, we see 1,000 downloads annually, enabled by our promotional and educational SC efforts. In addition to the BOF, we host collaborative demos and tutorials with a collaborator in our respective research exhibition booths. And, last year, SCinet hosted three SAGE2 walls at SC18 – one outside SCinet, one for SC News (running live and recorded videos), and one at the SC18 30th Anniversary booth – which also helped generate interest in the BOF and the software.

The SAGE2 SC BOF has a high level of audience participation. We have previously held 10 successful SC BOFs, each attracting approximately 50 people (of whom 20% are typically new) and several NSF program managers! At the BOF, we traditionally provide an overview of new features and elicit community input on use cases and roadmaps. This year, we will also review recent SAGE2 cybersecurity enhancements and present a detailed analysis of prevalent SAGE2 usage patterns.

The SAGE2 SC BOF is not commercial. Vendors attend the BOF to learn how the research community accesses and displays information. Users of SAGE2, not vendors, may discuss the quality, cost, or ease of use of vendor-specific hardware.

The SAGE2 SC BOF offers attendees a timely topic. Cyberinfrastructure runs the gamut – from computing, data, visualization, networks, and instruments, to software and application codes – and promises to enable research at unprecedented scales, complexity, resolution, and accuracy. However, it is the research community that must make sense of the data being amassed, so cyberinfrastructure must extend to people. The SAGE2 framework supports a common and intuitive infrastructure for both individuals and global scientific teams to share, analyze and view datasets and visual media.

We held 10 extremely successful SC BOFs. Prior presentations are on the SAGE2 website ( SC18 BOF materials are at (


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