Friday, I helped a friend who is working a MySQL gig to optimize a query that should have been way fast, but was taking about 100 seconds. Brian even took a look and helped with it. I learned today what the real problem was. The whole system was running on a single ec2-small instance. And by "whole system", I mean a test mysql server, the production mysql server, a test apache server, and the production apache server. All on one ec2-small.