In the cloud computing market, channel partners most frequently embrace Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS), Google Apps (NASDAQ: GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Office 365 and VMware (NYSE: VMW), according to the second-annual Talkin' Cloud 50 survey, which ends April 27. The survey, which identifies the world's leading channel partners focused on cloud computing, contains several other surprises.

Among the highlights so far...
  • 50 percent of survey participants say VMware is a key partner in their cloud computing initiatives.
  • 35.1 percent of survey participants say they run or deploy Citrix Systems' CloudStack or Xen for customers.
  • 30.9 percent of participants say they resell Microsoft Office 365 to customers.
  • 29.8 percent resell Google Apps to customers.
  • 28.7 percent say they work with Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) on cloud initiatives.
The data points above suggest VMware and Citrix each have successfully pushed beyond enterprise virtualization projects, with the help of channel partners, to infiltrate public cloud and private cloud environments.

And while some VARs continue to worry about Google Apps and Office 365 destroying traditional IT product margins, it's clear that next-generation cloud integrators and cloud consultants have bet heavily on those two leading SaaS suites. One example: Agosto, a Google Apps Authorized Reseller, says its revenues grew more than 250 percent last year.

Still, the biggest question of all remains: Who are the world's top cloud services providers, cloud brokers, cloud aggregators and cloud solutions providers (VARs and MSPs)?

The second-annual Talkin' Cloud 50 survey results will reveal the answers. The survey closes Friday, April 27. Results will be revealed during a May 16 webcast. During that webcast, we'll also reveal cloud revenue growth rates, key sales strategies and major trends involving VARs, MSPs and cloud services providers working within the larger cloud computing market.