A whopping 85 percent of Citrix Systems VARs see an opportunity to build private clouds using CloudStack, the open source cloud computing platform from Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS). That big statistic emerged at Citrix Partner Summit 2012, which attracted roughly 2,000 channel partners, according to Citrix Channel Chief Tom Flink.

In many circles, CloudStack is considered an alternative to OpenStack, the open source cloud platform first promoted by Rackspace and NASA. While Rackspace has a lot of cloud mind share, Citrix has a huge footprint in the IT channel, where many VARs and integrators are loyal to the company's virtualization, mobility and cloud offerings. Moreover, nearly 40 percent of cloud services providers (CSPs) say they partner with Citrix, according to the second-annual Talkin' Cloud 100 survey results (formerly the Talkin' Cloud 50), which will be unveiled May 16 during a webcast.

"Our VARs are wondering what the [CloudStack] opportunity is," said Flink, during a phone briefing with Talkin' Cloud. "They all believe there is an opportunity to get involved in CloudStack. I believe the market is very young here, and this is an early stage opportunity for VARs to help customers. With CloudStack and our contribution to the Apache Foundation, we offer the VAR community the easiest, lowest-risk, highest-value way to get into [cloud computing platforms."