Fizzix Fizzix - 3 months ago 18x
Node.js Question

Best image upload directory structure practises?

I have developed a large web application with NodeJS. I allow my users to upload multiple images to my Google Cloud Storage bucket.

Currently, I am storing all images under the same directory of


I'm beginning to think that this is not the safest way, and could effect performance later down the track when the directory has thousands of images. It also opens up a threat since some images are meant to be private, and it could allow users to search for images by guessing a unique ID, such as

Would I be best changing my structure to something like
instead? That way each directory only has a couple dozen images. Although, can a directory handle thousands of other subdirectories without suffering performance issues? Does Google Cloud Storage happen to accomodate for issues like this?


GCS does not actually have "directories." They're an illusion that the UI and command-line tools provide as a nicety. As such, you can put billions of objects inside the same "directory" without running into any problems.

One addendum there: if you are inserting more than a thousand objects per second, there are some additional caveats worth being aware of. In such a case, you would see a performance benefit to avoiding sequential object names. In other words, uploading /uploads/user-id/images/000000.jpg through /uploads/user-id/images/999999.jpg, in order, in rapid succession, would likely be slower than if you used random object names. GCS has documentation with more on this, but this should not be a concern unless you are uploading in excess of 1000 objects per second.

A nice, long GUID should be effectively unguessable (or at least no more guessable than a password or an access token), but they do have the downside of being non-revocable without renaming the image. Once someone knows it, they know it forever and can leak it to others. If you need firm control of your objects, you could keep them all private and visible only to your project and allow users to access them only via signed URLs. This offers you the most flexibility and control, but it's also harder to implement.