HttpFS is an HTTP gateway/proxy for Apache Hadoop FileSystem implementations. HttpFS comes with CDH4 and replaces HdfsProxy (which only provided read access). Its REST API is compatible with WebHDFS (which is included in CDH4 and the upcoming CDH3u5).
HttpFs is a proxy so, unlike WebHDFS, it does not require clients be able to access every machine in the cluster. This allows clients to to access a cluster that is behind a firewall via the WebHDFS REST API.