The old SQL Express 2005 was running on a low-end single Xeon CPU Dell server, RAID 5 7200 disks, 2 GB RAM (SBS 2003).
I have not done any baseline measurements on the old physical server, but the Web app is used by half a dozen people (maybe 2 concurrently), so I figured "how bad can an Amazon EC2 instance be?".
It's pretty horrible: a difference of 8 seconds of load time on one screen.
First of all, I'm not a SQL guru, but here's what I've tried:
Had a Small Instance, now running a c1.medium (High Cpu Medium) Windows 2008 32-bit R2 EBS-backed instance running IIS 7.5 and SQL Express 2008 R2. No noticeable improvement.
Changed Page File from fixed 256 to Automatic.
Setup a Striped Mirror from within Disk Management with two attached 1 GB EBS volumes. Moved database and transaction log, left everything else on the boot EBS volume. No noticeable change.
Looked at memory, ~1000 MB of physical memory free (1.7 GB total). Changed SQL instance to use a minimum of 1024 RAM; restarted server, no change in memory usage. SQL still only using ~28MB of RAM(!).
So I'm thinking: this database is tiny (28MB), why isn't the whole thing cached in RAM? Surely that would speed up performance. The transaction log is 241 MB. Seems kind of large in comparison -- has this not been committed? Is it a cause of performance degradation? I recall something about Recovery Models and log sizes somewhere in my travels, but not positive.
Another thing: the old server was running SQL Express 2005. Not sure if that has any impact, but I tried changing the compatibility level from SQL 2000 to 2008, but that had no effect.
Anyways, what else can I try here? Seems ridiculous to throw more virtual hardware at this thing. I know I/O is going to be rough on EBS volumes, but surely others are successfully running small .NET/SQL apps on reasonably priced instances?