According to Phoronix Performance Benchmarks Amazon’s AWS EC2 Micro instance performance is more similar to a Nokia N900 than an Intel Atom !
For comparison we included the results from this small set of cloud computing tests to that of the Nokia N900 (yes, really, the smart-phone) running Maemo 5, and the Dell Mini 9 netbook with an Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB SSD, and it was running Ubuntu 10.10.
Apparently new customers to Amazon’s EC2 cloud get one year free of EC2 Micro usage using a Linux/Unix AMI (Amazon Machine Instance). An Amazon EC2 Micro instance has 612MB of memory, up to two EC2 Compute Units, 32-bit or 64-bit support, and is rated for low I/O performance. The compute power of a micro instance varies depending upon the workload and availability of resources in the cloud where small bursts up equivalent to two EC2 Compute Units are available for short periods. With this Amazon cloud computing performance measurement, one EC2 Compute Unit is equivalent to a 2007-era 1.0~1.2GHz AMD Opteron or Xeon processor. So not only is the micro instance slow, but its performance varies from time to time, which is also bad for reproducible benchmarking.