EMC is buying the virtual tape library (VTL) assets of Neartek.

Currently the storage giant buys in FalconStor's VTL product, as do Sun, IBM and Copan Systems. But the purchase demonsrates that EMC clearly thinks VTL technology is important enough to own some itself.

EMC's acquisitive appetite is unrelenting. It has expanded almost all its product line through acquisition recently: storage (Legato, Dantz, Documentum); storage network intelligence (Maranti); management (Smarts); NAS virtualisation (Rainfinity); server virtualisation (VMware); and security (RSA, Network Security). And this is only a partial list.

Neartek has found its twelve year-long life difficult. It was founded in 1994 and struggled to make headway as competitors like Sepaton, which signed up HP, Diligent, dealing with HDS, and Falconstor make more progress. Neartek's product, VSE, was updated in April this year with automatic and policy-driven migration of data to multiple tiers of storage, an information lifecyle management approach. Nonetheless, it has been through several re-organisations and funding rounds with venture capitalists.

Neartek CEO Matthew Durkin is ex-EMC - something this may have facilitated the deal. which effectively points to consolidation in the VTL market.