This is a dedicated server in a datacenter. I don't know the exact
switch specs but it's likely a
layer 2/3 managed switch. Probably a 1U catalyst.

you mean cisco?

there are actually most problematic switches. They don't properly autonegotiate speed and full/half duplex with many network cards.
For example card is set to full duplex, cisco to half duplex, or reverse.
More funny - even this doesn't help always.

the only way to be sure it's fine is to set up speed manually on both sides.

in one place i have connectivity from upstream provider that uses cisco switch. They set up speed to 100Mbps and to full duplex on their side, but many NICs does not work with it fine.

It "works" but there are packet losses, or messages showing that card sometimes can't send packet etc.

Actually - cheapest RTL8139 works best, digital 21140 or broadcom chips does not.

I really wasted a lot of time to discover that cisco really works well with:

- another cisco
- realtek NICs
- some cheapest 5 or 8 port switches

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