An IP address on a true great 2 just switch is supplied for administration (accessing the CLI remotely, sending SNMP traps, logging, TACACS/RADIUS, etc.). The IP deal with on the move is in no means required for the move to actually perform its job, which is to move frames.
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If i review your concern as "why do I need to assign IP addresses to my clients" the price is: friend don"t have actually to. There are other protocols climate IP (I guess: v you typical IPv4 since you are stating ARP). You deserve to use IPv6, IPX, Appletalk, ...
You require some protocol ~ above Layer-3 (like IPv4, IPv6, IPX, ...) so that your hosts have the right to talk to each other and to various other parts of the network.
As stated by others: on a Layer-2 move IPv4 is only supplied for management. A pure Layer-2 switch must not care about protocols over layer-2 because that switching packets.
As a side note: There where / room some older chips supplied in switches i beg your pardon can"t perform Ethernet multicast and also can"t be offered in (most) IPv6 environments.
The inquiry may encompass ARP yet that is question inside the question. Better read the initial question again.
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