Note: I am not a network engineer. My background is coding but I'm just helping someone out with a small hardware upgrade.
Basically, we're talking about a small network of 14 computers currently running on a bog-standard 100Mbit 3Com switch. We've inherited a second-hand (although never used) Dell PowerConnect 6224 L3 switch which supports PoE and runs at 1Gbit and we'd like to take out the existing switch and put the new one in.
The 14 computers are actually thin clients which boot from an LTSP server via PXE.
I assumed (apparently incorrectly) that this would be as simple as unplugging everything from one switch and plugging it all into the other switch. However, when I do this, the thin clients only seem to be able to successfully PXE boot some of the time. The rest of the time the boot process just seems to hang. This literally never happens with the L2 switch. My only conclusion is that this L3 switch is doing more than what the L2 switch does and that the switch needs configuring before it can be used. (I've read information about the differences between L2 and L3 but I don't really understand it all)
I have had a look at the docs on the Dell website but the config language looks incredibly complicated.
So, my questions are basically: Am I out of my depth here? Is it silly to assume that this switch can be a simple solution to upgrade the network from 100Mbit to 1Gbit? Do I need an expert to configure the router or is the learning curve not that steep? Perhaps there's a "dumb mode" I can activate on the router somehow to make it work like a regular switch without any of the fancy features it probably has?