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Switch interface without IP

Hi all,

I am newbie for networking. I have a doubt regarding swithc interface.

Can a swithc interface be made up and connected without assigning IP address. If so in wat cases do we do this?

Thanks in advance


A switch is a layer 2 device so it doesn't need to configure any ip address in its interfaces.

You only need to configure an IP address in a switch in order to manage the switch (with telnet, ssh or https). If you want to manage the switch with the console connection you don't need any ip address

Jan Hrnko

Hi Rajtilak,

jmprats is right. Switch is an Layer 2 device so it doesn't work with IP addresses when switching traffic. It only uses the L2 MAC address.

So - you don't assign any IP address to a port. You assign IP address only to VIRTUAL interface - this is the interface which is used for management purposes.

Can a swithc interface be made up and connected without assigning IP address. If so in wat cases do we do this?

Yes, all you have to do is to connect the device to your network and off you go! It's that easy. Moreover an switch interface is brought up automatically - you don't have to write any commands. Just connect the cable and wait for magic to be done .

Best regards,


Hi Jan

Thanks for the reply,

The company which i work uses "WS-C6506-E" switch. They haven't assigned any IP address for several interfaces. I just wanted to know why is this done genreally.


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On your 6506, you're not confusing the actual switch's port being part of a VLAN, which usually has an IP assigned to the VLAN interface vs. a switch's port having an IP directly assigned to it?  The latter makes the port a routed port.  You can have L3 switches, such as your 6506, route to other routers or L3 switches using either type of port.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both kinds.