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New network config cause Retrospec to have problems finding clients

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The setup: 3com Superstack 3 3870 48port switches (qty 3) are the basis of the network. Barely configured and newly installed (along with a new firewall). Retrospect Server for Macs is used to back up certain machines on the network (editors' laptops).


The problem: Using the network browse tool in Retrospect shows some odd behavior. Machines are not see (the list is empty) for a several minutes, then all the machines show up. Then they disappear again. I set one machine to use a reserved DHCP address, and reconnected to that client by IP address and that works fine now. However, I'd really rather not reserve the IPs for all the machines since they may shift between wired and wireless conenctions (so have two MACs and making the configuration twice as difficult).


If I plug an unmanaged switch into the network, and plug a few clients and the server into it, I can see the clients from the server like normal-but the others are still inaccessible.


I assume some sort of multicast function is used to find the clients, but that the switches are blocking that traffic. Any ideas on where I can start looking to get that functionality back?

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