Getting started with Microsoft Azure is a simple process. By signing up for a trial account, using your MSDN benefits, or adding Azure to your existing enterprise agreement, you can quickly get started building out solutions.
Signing up and creating a few resources is a simple process, but really using Azure to benefit your organization may take a bit more planning. To help with this planning Microsoft has released a reference architecture that can be used to help organizations understand how to extend their existing datacenter capabilities with Microsoft Azure.
This interactive diagram illustrates how an organization can extend its on-premises datacenter to Microsoft Azure. Hovering your mouse over most objects in the diagram will provide additional details about the object. Clicking many of them will open a relevant detailed article.
A companion video is also available to help you better understand how to utilize the reference architecture diagram.
The Datacenter Extension Reference Architecture can be found here: http://aka.ms/derad