Thanks for the response, Björn.
The hint regarding dataset-specific snapshots is good, though I have to 
first think about how I would best make use of them.

However another point that you raised is interesting:

On Sunday, 16 March 2014 10:34:52 UTC+11, Bjoern Kahl wrote:
> [...]
>  Under Mac OSX, a mounted file system comes at higher costs than on 
>  other Unix like operating systems, due to the Finder and MDS services, 
>  so I would not suggest to really try to have hundreds of file systems 
>  mounted at the same time.  But any reasonable number (some 10) go 
>  without noticeable performance impact. 

I would need about 10 separate mount points / data sets, so I guess this 
would be fine.
MDS services however means Spotlight, but the MacZFS Wiki as well as 
several other posts on the web give the advice to switch off spotlight for 
ZFS with
mdutil -i off mountPoint

Why is Spotlight thought to be evil for ZFS? 
Or does your comment imply that these advices are outdated, and 
mds-indexing for ZFS mount points is ok nowadays?
Note that I am mainly aiming to store static 'archival' data and documents 
on ZFS, not my main user directory.

> [...] Snapshots can also easily be used for real 
>  off-site backups by the zfs send / receive mechanism. 
> Haven't looked at send/receive yet, but if they require network 
connections, I am afraid classical ADSL speeds with mac 1MBit/s upload will 
not be much fun...
And for periodic backup to an external HDD I was thinking about ChronoSync 
or simply rsync



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