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Problems with Static network configuration

Hi all-

Recently moved our unofficial debian server into a proper lab up
at work.  Used to have it set up as DHCP (without any troubles),
but the networking people have given us a range of static IP's
on our own interal subnet, so I'm trying to stick the server on
one of those so we have a little better guarantee that IP
address won't change.

Anyway, ever since I've configured it for static IP address, the
network interface has been going down constantly (like more than
once daily).  I've tried to mitigate this problem by writing a
simple "monitor / bounce" script which will detect (as best as I
can tell) when the network interface goes down and then try to
ifdown / ifup it (twice actually, because the first time nothing
actually happens).

This one has been driving me nuts, and I can't think of anything
appropriate to google for, so I was hoping to get some feedback
from people here.

Symptom is: in the morning you can't connect (ssh / http) to the
PC.  Solution: Walk over and type "ifdown eth0 ; ifup eth0" ...
get message "SIOC** something error" (sorry, didn't write it
down, will post again when I get ) ... so do ifdown / ifup
again, and network interface comes back up.

Other diagnostics are that the ifconfig output "loses" the line
that tells your ip address (the inet addr line) but still keeps
the line that says "UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST etc..."

Attached are what little information that I have.  I really do
appreciate any responses or ideas on where to look (found this
lkml message, might have some clues, but I don't know 



=== /etc/network/interfaces ===

# /etc/network/interfaces -- configuration file for ifup(8),

# The loopback interface
# automatically added when upgrading
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The first network card - this entry was created during the
Debian installation
# automatically added when upgrading

### standard DHCP settings
#auto eth0
#iface eth0 inet dhcp

### settings specific to our lab
# We "own" the entire 10.19.39.* subnet, of which
# we have been assigned 11->40 as specific static
# IP addresses.  This computer will sit on 
# (first avail. static), since it's one of the more 
# important ones.
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

=== ifconfig output ===
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:08:02:33:83:E1
          inet addr:  Bcast: \
          RX packets:14431079 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 \
          TX packets:9512421 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 \
          collisions:546047 txqueuelen:100
          RX bytes:3009005612 (2.8 GiB)  TX bytes:744943618 \
(710.4 MiB)
          Interrupt:5 Base address:0xb000

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