Getting started with new technologies can be a pain. That makes all the new labs that Microsoft just posted extremely useful. There are several that are going to be immediately applicable to your average data pro; Introduction to SQL Database, Connecting a PaaS Application to an IaaS Application with a Virtual Network, Web Sites and Virtual Machines using ASP.NET and SQL Server. The beauty of these things is that you don’t need to do anything to get started. These are virtual machines hosted out on the cloud that you get access to. Further, you’ll get a lesson plan to follow so you’re not left floundering. You will have to either connect your MSDN account to set up an Azure account or, if you don’t have MSDN, sign up for an Azure account. But, get that done and you have things to learn from.