What is the best performance setup for hosting an ASP.NET MVCv1 application?

I currently have 2 micro instances running, one to serve the database and another to serve the MVC application itself.

App server is Windows Server 2k8 32-bit, IIS 7.5. Database server is Windows 2008 Datacenter 32-bit, Sql Express.

Not more than a handful (less than 10) users on at a time, and by looking at the AWS monitoring, the database CPU hits 100% usage occasionally, but the app server CPU runs at 100% nearly half the time. As you would imagine, this is hurting performance for the users.

What is a better server/instance setup, keeping cost in mind?

Thanks for your help.


3 Answers 3


A micro instance is crap for a database install. The micro instances has something like 600 megs of RAM which is barely enough to run Windows 2008 much less to actually run a database under it. You'll want an instance that has at least a couple of gigs of RAM so that there is enough memory in the server for the SQL server to actually get some memory.

If the CPU on the SQL Server is still hitting 100% after making that change you'll want to look for indexes that need to be added or poorly written queries for problems.


I'd recommend hosting the site on AppHarbor. Your application and database will be running on much faster hardware, but since it's a multi-tenant setup, cost will likely be significantly lower. You'll also won't have to configure, install and update the servers yourselves, and deploying new versions of your code will likely be less painful.

(disclaimer, I'm co-founder of AppHarbor)


Those Micro instances certainly are cheap, but they're not for compute-heavy workloads like your app-server. The 'small' instances have dedicated CPU, unlike the micros, so running 100% means you're more likely to be getting more CPU cycles with a small.

The next step would be a high-CPU medium. More expensive than the 'small', but with significantly more CPU horse-power.

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