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Dell PowerEdge C6220 loses network connectivity

We have a brand new Dell PowerEdge C6220 fitted with 4 server modules. Everything appears to be in working order and Ubuntu Server 12.04 has been installed on one server module from a USB DVD drive. However, the network connection is behaving very strangely - it is very intermittent. In about 1 in 20 boots, the server gets a DHCP lease and a working network connection but anything from 10 seconds to 2 minutes later, the link drops. Unplugging the network cable and re-connecting usually restores the connection for about 10 seconds after reconnection but it fails again 10 secs - 2 mins later.

This is not an O/S problem as all 4 server modules fail to connect and get an IP address via DHCP even when using PXE, although about 1 in 20 attempts succeed for a short while before losing the connection again. The network the server is attached to is 100 Mbit/s fed from 3Com switches. No other system connected to this network is exhibiting any problems of this kind so I can only assume it is something to do with the Intel i350 on-board NIC.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? The server is currently unusable because of this and I thought I would ask here before contacting Dell support.

Server HardwareDell

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8/22/2022 - Mon

I recommend you to  update BIOS, Firmware and drivers as a first step. It would also be good to try another switch to isolate the problem (update firmware on the switch?).

Best Regards

What's the duplex setting on the switch?
Needs to be auto and the NIC's need to be auto too.

Sounds like you may have a negation issue.

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So let me get this right,the 3Com switches were manually set to full duplex and your Gig NIC's were set to auto?
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William Peck

The original problem was resolved and the new server is now usable at last and enjoying a gigabit network connection although the exact mechanism for the Ethernet link negotiation failure(s) is still not known. The network switches are the responsibility of the network team who say there's nothing wrong with them but I am now having trouble connecting other systems such as an HP Z820 workstation to this network which rather suggests the network provision in this building is sub-standard .