EMC has acquired start-up nLayers, the latest acquisition in its attempt to move from a storage specialist into a company with expertise in storing, managing, accessing and securing data throughout the enterprise.

InSight appliance, NLayers' flagship product, is designed to help users better understand and map relationships among applications, servers and devices.

The deal was announced by EMC chairman, president and chief executive officer Joe Tucci, who said that he expected the company's resource-management business, along with four other business units, to grow into billion-dollar businesses in the next few years.

"We expect our core storage business will continue to sustain double-digit growth over the next several years, and we believe we will - and it is our goal - to grow five business areas to the billion-dollar level over the same several-year period," Tucci said.

Those five businesses are resource management, content management, storage virtualisation, information security and its virtualisation software subsidiary VMware.

Tucci also hinted of hardware upgrades coming soon to the company's Clariion AX storage system line, at both the high and low end of the line, and of more lower-end appliance additions to its Celerra network-attached storage line.

"We will continue to hit this appliance market hard, and the biggest thrust will be downmarket," Tucci said.

On the software side, Tucci talked about a new tool coming in the second half of this year that will allow users to manage the company's data protection software through one central console. EMC will also offer similar capability for its archiving software, Tucci said.