Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Asigra became the first provider of backup and recovery software to announce support for Docker containers, an alternative form of virtualization that is gaining momentum among application developers.

“Containers make the deployment of applications so much smoother,” says Eran Farajun, executive vice president of Asigra. “It’s just too powerful a concept to ignore.”

While there are very few Docker containers currently deployed in production, developers in recent months have been embracing the technology as an alternative to traditional virtual machines. Industry observers say it’s only a matter of time before Docker containers show up in production applications in large numbers.

There is, however, a fierce debate over where those Docker containers should be deployed. One camp argues that Docker containers should be deployed on physical servers because they eliminate much of the overhead associated with virtual machines. Others argue that Docker containers should be deployed on top of traditional virtual machines to provide greater isolation of application workloads and better security.

Asigra, which is sold only through the channel, already supports both virtual machines and physical servers. Support for Docker containers running on physical machines extends the reach of version 13 of Asigra Cloud Backup software to Docker containers that are not deployed on virtual machines, Farajun said.

In addition to expanding the scope of backup and recovery opportunities for Asigra’s partners, support for Docker will also make it easier for them to deploy and update the company’s software on any platform, he said.

The fact that Asigra relies on an agentless architecture, Farajun added, will also be increasingly important in a world where the number of Dicker containers that need to be backed up is likely to soon be several orders of magnitude greater than the number of virtual machines that have been deployed.

Docker containers also create opportunities for solution providers by making it much simpler to move application workloads running on those containers from one cloud to another.

Although internal IT operations teams may not have Docker containers on their radar just yet, the backup and recovery of all those containers will likely be a major customer pain point in 2015.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.