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In earlier versions of ArcGIS, you could create/set the FLEXLM_TIMEOUT to a higher value for slower connections. I'm currently trying to troubleshoot a system (one where I have minimal control) with slow connections to the license manager.

I was able to create a FLEXLM_TIMEOUT user variable and fired up ArcMap several times with no timeout error. But maybe I'm lucky and the network I'm on is having a good afternoon.

Does anyone know if this environment variable is actually used by ArcGIS(FLEXnet Publisher)?

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Yes it works, though you might have to change users computer settings to make use of it - network installs need admin - support.esri.com/en/knowledgebase/techarticles/detail/16274 –  Mapperz May 23 '11 at 18:11
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Full Answer is here:

"The timeout mechanism provided by OpenLM for ESRI ArcGIS is based on two parameters, “maximum idle time” and threshold. The combination of these two parameters provides a good solution for floating licenses (FLEXlm features) with both high and small number of licenses. The timeout value should be kept minimal (15-20 minutes) for all FLEXlm features and user groups"

http://blog.openlm.com/?p=129

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