At the Citrix Synergy 2012 conference this week in San Francisco, The VAR Guy expects updates on Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) CloudStack, Citrix XenDesktop and XenServer -- and plenty more. But Citrix Synergy is more than a customer and partner conference. It's a stage where Citrix CEO Mark Templeton (pictured) can attempt to position Citrix as a preferred partner for the two biggest trends in IT: Mobility and cloud computing. Here are five trends and themes from Citrix Synergy that are worth watching.

1. CloudStack's Evolution: Sure, CloudStack is often compared to OpenStack, an increasingly popular open source cloud computing platform. So how will Citrix raise CloudStack's visibility, especially among cloud services providers (CSPs) and ISVs (independent software vendors) that are wring SaaS applications for the cloud? Templeton will surely provide updates.

2. Already in the Cloud: Nearly 40 percent of the world's top cloud services providers (CSPs) already work with Citrix, according to the Talkin' Cloud 100 -- a newly expanded survey that covers cloud computing in the IT channel. (Complete survey results will surface during a May 16 webcast). But how will Citrix continue to differentiate vs. VMware, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Microsoft Hyper-V and other technologies that empower CSPs? The VAR Guy is looking for answers from the conference.

3. VDI Guidance, Please: Yes, VARs and CSPs want to offer hosted desktops in the cloud -- another types of virtual desktop infrastructure. But Microsoft's licensing terms for Windows and Office in the cloud can be confusing and tricky. How is Citrix helping to educate partners about the finer nuances of VDI in the cloud?

4. Remember That Deal?: Citrix acquired Paglo, a SaaS-based remote monitoring and management platform for MSPs, in 2010. Now known as Citrix GoToAssist and GoToManage, has Citrix been catching on with managed services providers (MSPs)? The VAR Guy seeks an update.

5. Mobile and Microsoft: As Citrix connects the dots between tablets (iPads, iOS, Android), smart phones and cloud computing, The VAR Guy wonders: Just how much work will Citrix do to add Windows 8 support into that mix? Sure, Citrix and Microsoft have partnered for more than two decades. But does Templeton see big upside for Windows 8 on tablets? Why or why not?

Got additional questions about Citrix's cloud, mobile and partner strategies? The VAR Guy is all ears.