Amazon EC2 – ext3 mkfs takes 30+ minutes?

I’ve been playing around with Amazon EC2 for a new project I’m working on and so far I’m really impressed. One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that it takes forever to create an ext3 filesystem on a new volume. For example, the below command took over 30 minutes to create the filesystem on a 300 GB volume:

# mke2fs -j -m0 /dev/sdf1
mke2fs 1.40.4 (31-Dec-2007)
Filesystem label=
OS type: Linux
Block size=4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
39321600 inodes, 78642183 blocks
0 blocks (0.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=0
Maximum filesystem blocks=4294967296
2400 block groups
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
16384 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks:
32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208,
4096000, 7962624, 11239424, 20480000, 23887872, 71663616

Writing inode tables: done
Creating journal (32768 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done

This filesystem will be automatically checked every 38 mounts or
180 days, whichever comes first. Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.

It took about 30 seconds do do everything up to the writing of the superblocks. Not sure why this takes so long, but it’s happened for every EBS volume I’ve formatted ext3. Annoying. Initially I thought it was hanging, and ended up terminating an instance that wouldn’t shutdown or let me cancel the operation. The terminated instance is still being displayed in the UI with a status of “terminated” and I can’t find any way to remove it from the list.

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