Lots of good stuff here https://www.nopcommerce.com/blog/56-common-tips-settings-recommendations-to-optimize-performance-in-nopcommerce.aspx.
Be careful when using the cloud and make sure the sql server and the NOP Commerce app are in the same location. We originally set ours up in Azure and had them in 2 different locations. It was very slow. After we moved them our speed improved significantly.
Some things to check (some of these are listed in the link above):
Ignore ACL rules (sitewide)
Ignore "limit per store" rules (sitewide)
Ignore discounts (sitewide)
Ignore featured products (sitewide)
Delete unused plugins
Set web.config to debug = false out on production server