Narendran Muraleedharan and James Guerra decided to start Aptus Engineering to feed their passion for solving complex problems in robotics, computer vision, and AI. Businesses around the globe have found the need to start incorporating AI into their systems and analytics. Aptus is right there with them, helping to bring their ideas to life. As Aptus began building more projects that required cloud resources, their need for more advanced deployments and management grew. By adopting Cycle, Aptus has been able to streamline their development and deployment processes enabling the company to continue growing its team and revenues.
If you’ve got a dream, Aptus can build it.
After a successful run building an aerospace company, Narendran Muraleedharan (more widely known by his nickname, “Naru”) found himself in a position where he was ready to get back to engineering projects.
“At my last company, I suggested that we start offering engineering services and solving new problems, but that wasn’t the direction we headed. At the end of the day, it was becoming more of a manufacturing company” noted Narendran.
Naru ended up following his passion for solving new exciting engineering problems in robotics, computer vision, and AI that lead him to start Aptus Engineering. He called on long-time friend James Guerra to come in as COO, and the two wasted no time building out a few projects. One of the early projects they worked on was a printing robot for large prints, originally designed to be sold as a DIY kit to makers and tinkerers. It worked by breaking down an image into rows and columns and sending the information to the robot over WiFi. The robot would then use its wheels to navigate the attached inkjet print head to produce the image. The robot was even able to lift its body up and change the orientation of its wheels, without changing the orientation of the print device, allowing for vertical and horizontal movement without turning.
Cutting edge AI contracts came to Aptus as well, and they performed brilliantly when they were tasked with various different AI solutions in predictive medical diagnostics and assessment services. One early AI project involved developing a solution to identify subgroups of patients based on demographics and genetic build-up for whom certain pharmaceutical treatments perform more favorably. Another large project was the development of an AI computer vision program that is able to suggest total hip replacement surgery for patients based on their X-rays.
Aptus also built non-AI solutions including firearm tracking systems, control systems for unique robots and drones, US Navy helicopter training systems, and more!
One of the largest projects Aptus undertook is a full suite of software for a company that generates anatomical 3D models from MRIs. This involves case management software, access portal, 3D model development and editing software, and AI to prepare the 3D models.
As Aptus worked on these projects, it was apparent that good cloud infrastructure orchestration and management is a key factor for success. Lots of Aptus’ AI and non-AI projects were to be hosted in the cloud. Aptus developed on-demand AI workers that run in the cloud as well, and these are able to do tasks ranging from predictive analysis, data processing, preparation, and general business process automation tasks. Aptus started by hosting cloud components using generic cloud service providers as requested by their clients. However, inconsistencies, outdated technology, and the need for a dedicated DevOps team led to the rise of cost and complexity of the cloud deployments.
To modernize their cloud infrastructure management and application deployment strategy, Aptus looked to Cycle.
Partnering with Cycle
Naru had kept in touch with Jake Warner, Cycle.io’s CEO throughout the years. “We met over Christmas during my freshman year in college, discussed a few projects I was working on and he helped me out a bit. Years later, Jake gave us a demo of Cycle and as our company moved toward more complex cloud deployments it was obvious that Cycle could become a valuable asset in solving a number of problems we were having” recounts Naru.
Figure out the source of the problem you're solving. If you are dealing with cloud deployments, try Cycle - it'll save you a lot of time! In our case, a process that traditionally required 20+ hours of work can now be accomplished in as little as 2 hours while also saving us $4,900/mo in devops costs.- Narendran Muraleedharan | CEO & Founder
According to Naru and his team, deploying and maintaining cloud projects for Aptus and their clients has become “much easier” after moving to Cycle. “Cycle manages a ton of stuff that we’d have to do manually otherwise, and it saves us a lot of time. Our development and deployment sprints have become significantly faster!”
Now, Aptus is also starting to build new deployment strategies for their AI workers using Cycle. “Cycle’s environments help isolate workloads and by integrating with Cycle’s API, we’re able to automate container events which gives us a lot of flexibility in how our applications function. We are coming up with novel and efficient techniques to deploy on-demand AI workers using Cycle.”
By utilizing Cycle, Aptus has been able to cut down update deployments from over an hour down to 5 minutes. A lot of the speed improvement is due to the simplicity of debugging on Cycle, where the instance console allows them to quickly identify issues. Overall, Aptus has been able to streamline its internal processes saving their customers $60,000 per year on average.
According to Aptus, their biggest reductions have come from avoiding downtime. Before utilizing Cycle, one of their largest clients, a medical health finance company, suffered an immense 14 hour downtime due to an issue with their deployment which lead to $30,000 in lost business. After deploying to Cycle, another issue was discovered, but was identified, and fixed. They were fully operational within 30 minutes, yielding no financial impact.
A Bright Future
Using Cycle isn’t just a quick fix for Aptus, it's a whole new way to approach solving problems using containers and consuming cloud resources. With features like containerized GPU resources and CI/CD pipeline on the way, Aptus knows Cycle is one of the most powerful tools in their toolbox, and it will only get better.
Utilizing their newfound DevOps automation, Aptus can be laser focused on continuing to deliver world-class AI solutions to problems in the healthcare, legal, and financial services industries. Naru says he looks forward to, “revolutionizing these industries known for their exorbitant service costs and outdated technology with high performance, on-demand, and scalable cloud AI services to save everyone time, money, and heartache.”