Bob Plankers at The Lone Sysadmin comments:
This is post #14 in my December 2013 series about Linux Virtual Machine Performance Tuning. For more, please see the tag “Linux VM Performance Tuning.”
At times we can refer to certain network concepts with a “pipe” analogy, where bandwidth is the diameter of the pipe and latency is the length of the pipe. A garden hose has a certain limited amount of “bandwidth” because it has a small interior diameter, and has a lot of latency because it is so long. Water you put in one end of the hose takes a while to come out the other end. A house in the USA likely has a main sewer pipe with 4 inches of “bandwidth” so it can move more, uh, “data” simultaneously, but the latency, or time it takes to traverse the length of the pipe, might be the same as the garden hose.
Plankers does a great job of talking about some of the knobs hidden in Linux that let you tune some important networking parameters.