A network switch including one or more network ports for receiving and transmitting data is disclosed. The network switch also includes a processor, a switch manager, and memory. Each port includes a network interface, a data bus interface, and a processor port interface. A data bus is coupled to the data bus interface of each of the ports and the switch manager. A processor bus is coupled to a processor, the switch manager, and to the processor port interface of each of the ports. A memory bus is coupled to the memory and the switch manager. The switch manager periodically polls each of the network ports to determine the status of each port. The switch manager controls the flow of data between the network ports and memory based on the port status. The separate processor bus allows the processor to perform overhead functions, such as monitoring, determining status and configuration, without consuming valuable data bus bandwidth.